(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Kerry"

Glass_Jl:M-10_ 
Book^iK^Gl 






"lll'^r-^- 





KERRY 



THE LITTLE GUIDES 



Small PoitZvo, cloth, zs. 6d. net. ; leather, 35. 6d. net. 

Each volume is profusely illustrated by E. H. New, B. C. Boulter, 
and other Artists, or from Photographs. 



CAMBRIDGE AND ITS COLLEGES. 
By A. Hamilton Thompson. 
Second Edition. With 23 Illus- 
trations and I Map. 

OXFORD AND ITS COLLEGES. By 
J. Wells, M.A. Seventh Edi- 
tion. With 27 Illustrations and 
1 Map. 

ST Paul's Cathedral. By 
George Clinch. With 31 Illus- 
trations and 2 Maps. 

Westminster ABBEY. ByG.E. 
Troutbeck. With 25 Illustra- 
tions and I Map. 



THE ENGLISH LAKES. By F. G. 
Brabant, M.A. With 9 Illus- 
trations and 3 Maps. 

THE Malvern country. By 
B. C. A. Windle. With 23 
Illustrations and i Map. 

SHAKESPEARE'S COUNTRY. By 
B. C. A. Windle. Second Edi- 
tion. With 25 Illustrations and 
2 Maps. 



BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. By E. S. 

Roscoe. With 28 Illustrations 

and 4 Maps. 
Cheshire. By W. M. Gallichan. 

With 48 Illustrations and 3 

Maps. 
CORNWALL. By A. L. Salmon. 

With 26 Illustrations and 2 

Maps. 
Derbyshire. By J. C. Cox. 

With 44 Illustrations and 2 

Maps. 
Devon, By S. Baring-Gould. 

With 32 Illustrations and 2 

Maps. 
Dorset. Bjt F. R. Heath. With 

33 Illustrations and 4 Maps. 
Hampshire. By \. C. Cox. 

With 29 Illustrations and 3 

Maps. 
Hertfordshire. By H. W. 

Tompkins, F.R.H.S. With 

26 Illustrations and 2 Maps. 



The Isle of Wight. By G. 
Clinch. With 29 Illustrations 
and 4 Maps. 

KENT. By G. Clinch. With 24 
Illustrations and 4 Maps. 

Middlesex. By j. B. Firth. 
With 31 Illustrations and 4 
Maps. 

Northamptonshire. By Wake- 
ling Dry. With 40 Illustrations 
and 2 Maps. 

NORFOLK. By W. A. Dutt. With 
30 Illustrations and 3 Maps. 

Oxfordshire. By F. G. Brabant. 
With 29 Illustrations and 3 
Maps, 

Suffolk. By W. A. Dutt. With 
28 Illustrations and 2 Maps. 

Surrey. By F, A. H. Lambert. 
With 30 Illustrations and i 
Map. 

SUSSEX. By F. G. Brabant, M.A. 
Second Edition. With 14 Illus- 
trations and 8 Maps. 

THE EAST Riding of York- 
shire. By J. E. Morris. 
With 29 Illustrations and 2 
Maps. 

THE NORTH Riding of York- 
shire. By J. E. Morris. 
With 29 Illustrations and 9 
Maps. 



KERRY. By Captain C. P. Crane, 
D.S.O. With 36 Illustrations 
and 2 Maps. 



BRITTANY. By S. Baring-Gould. 

With 28 Illustrations and 3 

Maps. 
NORMANDY. By Cyril Scudamore. 

With 40 Illustrations and i 

Map. 
ROME. By C. G. EUaby. With 

38 lUustrations and i Map. 
Sicily. By F. H. Jackson. With 

34 Illustrations and 2 Maps, 



I 



i 



KERRY 

By 

C. P. CRANE 
D.S.O. 

With Illustrations from Photographs by 
Geoffrey Parsons 



'• Give me Ireland for my pennies." 

Charles Kingsley 



LONDON 

METHUEN & CO. 

^6 Essex St. Strand 






First Published in igoy 



CONTENTS 



Introduction : — 




I. 


Situation and Extent 


I 


II. 


General Physical Features and 






Scenery 


5 


III. 


Climate . . . . • 


17 


IV. 


Fauna and Flora 


19 


V. 


Communications 


29 


VI. 


Industries .... 


36 


VII. 


History ..... 


38 


VIII. 


Ethnology and Local Names . 


54 


IX. 


Antiquities .... 


57 


X. 


Literary Associations 


62 


XI. 


Table of Lakes, Passes, and 
Mountains : — 






I. Lakes .... 


65 




2. Passes .... 


66 




3. Mountains 


67 



CHAP. 




PAGE 


I. 


KiLLARNEY .... 


68 


II. 


Ken MARE , . . . 


I02 


III. 


Sneem and Parknasilla 


1 12 


IV. 


Waterville .... 


ii6 


V. 


Cahirciveen . . . . 


132 


VI. 


Valencia Island . 


■ 144 


VII. 


Caragh Lake and Glencar . 


■ 154 


VIII. 


Tralee .... 


167 


IX. 


Dingle .... 


197 


X. 


LiSTOWEL , . . . . 


232 


Index 


• . . 


. 240 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



View from the Skellig Michael . Frontispiece ^ 



Ardfert Abbey .... 

Loch Coumclohane 

Old Graveyard, Skellig Michael 

Dunbeg Fort .... 

Beehive Cell on Skellig Michael 

Beehive Cells of Monks on Skellig 
Michael 

Killarney House 

Killarney House 

Ross Castle, Killarney 

Lower Lake, Killarney, from Rc 
Island .... 

Oratory, Innisfallen . 

View from Aghadoe, Killarney 

Muckross Abbey . 

Cloisters, Muckross Abbey . 

ToRC Waterfall 

Upper Lake, Killarney 

The Hag's Glen and Carrantuohill 

Parknasilla ..... 

vii 



4" 
lO - 
60 ^ 
61- 
62 ^ 

64. 
76^ 

78' 
80^' 

83 

84^ 

86' 

88^ 

90' 

92" 

94. 
106 * 

120 



KERRY 



Ballycarbery Castle . 


PACE 


A Mountain Lough . 


149 


The Way of the Cross, Skellic 




Michael .... 


I 158 


Weather-worn Cross, Skellig Michael 


161 


Ruined Chapel, Skellig Michael . 


162 


Caragh Lake . . . . . 


168 


Ardfert Cathedral 


184 


Ardfert Cathedral, West Doorway 


186 


Ardfert Abbey .... 


188 


Doorway, Ratass 


196 


Glountinassig .... 


203 


Mahanaboe Glen 


212 


DuNBEG Fort .... 


. 218 


Gallerus Oratory . . 


223 


Doorway, Gallerus Oratory 


224 


Interior of Kilmalchedor Cathedral . 


226 


Old Cross on Illauntannig 


236 


Map of Kerry .... 


Jt End 



VllI 



AUTHORITIES CONSULTED 

Ireland and the Celtic Church. By Professor Stokes. 

The Kingdom of Ireland. By Walpole. 

Old Kerry Records. By Mary Agnes Hickson. 

The Kerry Magazine for 1854. 1855, and 1856. A Journal 

of Polite Literature. 
The M'Gillycuddy Papers. By W. M. Brady. 
Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland. By Hall. 
Cybele Hybernica. By David Moore, 
History of Kerry. By Dr Smith 




ERRATA 

PAGE LINE 

68, 12. For ' Rinlares ' read ' Rosslare ' 

,, 13 and 14. For *This latter route' 
read * The third route ' 

71, 19. For * Pouldecka ' read « Poulderka * 

„ 22. For ^ furze-crowned' read ' furze-clad ' 

94, 14. For ' Deena ' read ^Deenagh ' 

153, I. For * sees the cell ' read ^ see the cells ' 

„ 32. For ' More ' read ' Some ' 



INTRODUCTION 

I. Situation and Extent 

A GLANCE at the map will show the county 
of Kerry, lying in the extreme south-west- 
ern corner of Ireland, bounded on the N. by the 
broad estuary of the Shannon, on the E. by the 
counties of Limerick and Cork, and on the S. and 
W. by the Atlantic Ocean. The greatest length 
of the county from N. to S. is 60 m., and the 
greatest breadth from E. to W, is 58 m. ; and 
it is a somewhat remarkable coincidence that one 
of the most eastern and the most western of the 
mountains is named Mount Eagle. 

The area of the county of Kerry is 1,185,918 
acres, and within this area is contained such a 
wealth of history, of beauty, and interest that it 
must be in the future, as it has been in the past, a 
favourite touring ground for multitudes. Two 
long fiords, stretching out from the Atlantic, 
run well - nigh to the heart of the county 
and divide it naturally into three distinct and 
separate areas, each with its peculiar and widely 
different characteristics and its particular charm. 
There are the wide-open plains of brown bog, 
pasture, and plough land, and the broad straths 
running inland from the sea, which are characteristic 
of the baronies of Irraghticonnor, Clanmaurice, and 



KERRY 

Trughenacmy in North Kerry ; there is the long 
ridge of hills rising in low slopes from the plain near 
Gortatlea, and gaining height as it runs westwards 
to form the peaks of Bautregaum, Caherconree, and 
Benoskee, till it gains its highest point in Mount 
Brandon, and its end in Mount Eagle, which slopes 
to Dunmore, the most western point on the main- 
land of Ireland and the " next parish to America." 
This long range of high land is the main feature 
of the barony of Corkaguiny, "the fruitful 
land" (as it was known of old) of West Kerry. 
Lastly, there is the wonderful varied region com- 
prised by the baronies of Iveragh, Dunkerron 
North and Dunkerron South, and Magonihy, 
where mountain on mountain meets the view, 
and where Carrantuohill, the loftiest peak in Ire- 
land, dominates the whole district. 

Innumerable loughs are found throughout the 
county, varying in size from the great Lough 
Leane of Killarney, and all the chains of loughs 
which feed it from the Black Valley onwards, 
to the small mountain tarns hidden amidst the 
glens, and known but to few. 

The coast scenery, if equalled in other counties, 
is certainly not surpassed for variety and beauty. 
Tiiere are the wild storm-beaten cliffs from 
Brandon Head around by Ballydavid and Sybil 
Heads and Dunmore, in the barony of Corka- 
guiny, and around thence to Inch; there are 
the cliffs on the island of Valencia, towering up 
600 ft. from the Atlantic; there are the lower 
headlands and secluded bays and creeks where 
the silver sand is fringed with the white foam of 
the breakers coming in clean and clear from the 
great '* beyond." Lastly, there are the islands 



SITUATION AND EXTENT 

— " Sentinels " of this ^« enchanted land " — the 
Blaskets, the Skelligs, Scariff, and others, which 
will be mentioned later on in this Guide. 

But added to all these attractions there is the 
charm of Kerry, and it is difficult to say from what 
that comes. It is something indescribable, but felt 
none the less surely by all who come to the county. 
Perhaps it arises from the colour on the hills 
and on the sea, or from the combination of 
cloud and sunshine, which Hvres in people's 
memories, even when the grey days of mist and 
rain blot out the pictures, or perhaps it comes 
from the wealth of foliage and the warmth which 
the Old Red Sandstone rocks give to the land- 
scape. But from whatever cause it springs, it 
is an enchantment, taking hold of most people 
as strongly now as it did in the days of 
old, when it turned the Norman and Saxon 
settlers '*more Irish than the Irish themselves." 
Kerry is always young ; and there may be a 
deeper meaning than appears at first sight in the 
legend which tells how an O'Donoghue of old 
built a city in the land of perpetual youth, called 
Tir-nan-Oge, beneath the waters of Killarney 
Lake, and how the fairies from that land of 
perpetual youth visit the land above, even to the 
present day. 

But, as every one is not impressed by scenery 
alone, so Kerry offers a variety of interests for all 
comers. The flora and fauna afford a rich field 
for those who care to study the many species 
of birds and flowers and ferns to be found. 
The remains of the early Christian period of our 
history are to be found in beehive cells and 
stone-roofed oratories, pilgrims' roads, and legends 



KERRY 

of half-forgotten saints and holy men. Old castles 
and keeps, cathedrals roofless and crumbling to 
decay, abbeys where the Franciscan friars lived 
and laboured, tell of the days of the Norman 
and English settlement. The face of the land 
is an open book of history for all to read who 
care for the story of days long past and gone. 
And then there is the legendary lore of Kerry, 
and in this no county in Ireland is richer. So to 
the archaeologist, the antiquary, the historian, the 
naturalist, and the artist, Kerry offers an attractive 
field for observation. 

These pages will give but a passing glance at the 
many interesting places and things to be seen. 
Descriptions in a little guide-book are but the 
outlines of pictures which every one must fill in 
and develop for himself, and the space available in 
this book can afford only a limited description of 
the many beautiful places in this beautiful land. 
The chief places of interest have been given in 
consecutive order, and in a way which may enable 
a visitor at a given centre to get as much as pos- 
sible out of his visit. It would be impracticable to 
enumerate in detail all the walks and drives and 
cycle rides which may be enjoyed from these 
centres ; but the writer will be amply rewarded if 
he can bring home to a few a small amount of the 
pleasure which a knowledge of Kerry has brought 
to him. 

Many years ago the Kerry Maga^ine^ quaintly 
termed " a journal of polite literature,'' was pub- 
lished in the county, and many able contributors 
recorded their researches in the history and folk- 
lore of " The Kingdom." In the pages of this 
journal for the year 1855 are some lines under the 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

heading of " Kerry Ballads," by a writer signing 
his or her name " K./^ which run as follows : — 

*^ How pure the air, what balm the breeze, 
How dear the name to me ; 
How prized the memories that haunt 
The bay of sweet Tralee. 

There may be richer lands afar 

Beyond the mighty sea ; 
But Kerry hearts can ne'er forget 

The mountains of Tralee. 

In lordly hall and humble cot 

Alike a welcome's found, 
Nor wanderer e'er felt desolate 

Who trod on Kerry ground. 

No stranger ever breathed her air 

But found in her a home ; 
And travellers from distant lands 

Have loved her as their own." 

These lines, which give so truly a glimpse at the 
spirit of Kerry, may not inaptly form the conclud- 
ing part of an Introduction to the old County 
Palatine of the Desmonds. 



II. General Physical Features and Scenery 

A broad line of high land, glen, and pasture, where 
the heathery hills in places rise to some 1400 ft. 
above the sea-level, runs down the eastern border of 
county Kerry from Tarbert on the Shannon to 
near Rathmore. The formation of this moor- 
land district, which resembles in some respects 
the moorlands of Yorkshire, is millstone grit. In 
the recesses of these hills are the sources of 
the rivers Blackwater, Feale, Maine, and Flesk. 
The first named flows east to join the sea at Youghal 



KERRY 



in the county of Cork, and the three latter flow 
west to meet the sea in the estuary of the Shannon 
or in Dingle Bay. Part of the moorland district goes 
by the name of the Glanaruddery Mountains, and 
an offshoot running west forms the " Stacks Moun- 
tains," the low hills to be seen to the north of Tralee. 
Another offshoot of inconsiderable height runs 
S.W. by Scartaglin and Farranfore to the river 
Laune at Killorglin, and rising to the W. of that 
river forms the Iveragh range of mountains, which 
marks the southern boundary of Dingle Bay. 
" The Paps," rising to a height of 2268 ft., are 
the most eastern peaks in the county of Kerry. 
This eastern boundary line running still S. and 
S.E., bends round the head of the Clydagh Valley 
to turn S.W. along the ridge of the Derryna- 
saggart range to Knockboy, 2321 ft. above the 
sea ; thence the line extends along by the Caha 
Mountains, by Knockowen (2169 ft.), to Hungry 
Hill (2251 ft.), which is the most southern point 
of the county Kerry. The boundary line then turns 
due N. and meets the sea at Ardgroom Harbour, 
a haven in the long fiord of Kenmare River. 

The broad level plain, broken only by low rises 
at Kerry Head and Knockanore (880 ft.), stretches 
from the base of the Glanaruddery and Stacks 
Mountains to the sea, and bending round the 
low spurs of the hills at the Spa near Tralee, 
broadens out into a wide and fertile plain which 
extends to Castleisland and west to Castlemaine. 
Most of the baronies of Irraghticonnor, Clan- 
maurice, and Trughenacmy are of this lowland 
character. 

Widely different is the rest of Kerry. A range 
of mountains runs the whole length of the barony 

6 



1 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

of Corkaguiny, rising low from the Central Plain 
in the E. and getting higher as it sweeps W., 
till in Brandon it attains the height of 3127 ft. 
This range, with various offshoots and dips, has 
its end in Mount Eagle, which is the most western 
point of the mainland of Ireland. Almost the whole 
of this mountainous district is formed of Old Red 
Sandstone. Remains of the Ice Age may be seen 
in the grooved and polished rocks and the Moraines 
near the Pedlar's Lake on the Connor Hill Road 
and about Lough Cruttia in the recesses of 
Brandon. 

The baronies of Iveragh, Dunkerron South, 
Dunkerron North, and Glanarought are a wild mass 
of mountains and glens, the ridges running E. and 
W., N. and S., with numerous valleys and 
wide straths between. The main points in all this 
district are Carrantuohill, the highest mountain in 
Ireland, and Beenkeragh, a sister peak, the former 
being 3414 ft. above the sea, and the latter about 
a hundred feet lower. 

This wilderness of mountain and glen is chiefly 
of Old Red Sandstone formation ; the rocks in places 
have been so crushed in the cooling of the earth's 
crust that the stratification is often almost perpen- 
dicular. This may be seen in the hills about 
Caragh and Sneem, and along the southern shore 
of the Kenmare River. Various pointed hills 
occur in parts of Kerry, rising up like small 
volcanic peaks to add variety to the wild scarped 
cliffs and round-headed mountains which prevail. 

It is said that the geological structure of the whole 
of the south of Ireland is as simple as that of the 
Jura district. The coal measures and carboniferous 
limestone and slate of the upward folds have gradu- 



KERRY 

ally given way before the weather of ages and left 
the Old Red Sandstone, whilst the surface of the 
downward fold has been gradually worn away into 
valleys. The Lower Lake of Killarney lies in 
carboniferous limestone, which can be seen cropping 
out about Muckross and Dinas, whilst the Upper 
Lake lies amongst the Old Red Sandstone. There 
are coal measures in North Kerry which cover a 
considerable area but contain very little coal. Slate of 
a superior kind is to be found on Valencia Island. 
The south of Ireland was once a good copper- 
producing country, and mines were worked in Ross 
Island. Copper and iron ore are still to be found 
in many parts of Kerry. 

Between Kenmare and GlengarifFe may be seen 
further evidences of the Ice Age, and the lower ground 
and the sides of the mountains show the smooth round 
forms which tell geologists stories which make the 
uninitiated wonder, and lead to such quaint replies 
as the following : " What would you say," was 
asked of a Kerry farmer, " if I told you that the 
whole of the hills along the shores of the Kenmare 
River had been grooved and polished by ice?" 
" Well, sir, I'd be apt to say you were a liar ! " 
A broad band of carboniferous limestone, begin- 
ning near Ballylongford in North Kerry, bends in 
the form of the letter S round by Ardfert and 
Tralee and on to Castleisland, and southwards then 
to Killarney Lakes. This limestone marks the 
most fertile area in Kerry, and it crops up out 
of the drift area of millstone grit and shale. 

The geology of Kerry is very simple — limestone, 
millstone grit, and Old Red Sandstone, with just a 
ribbon of Silurian and Cambrian formation along 
the cliffs on both sides of Smerwick Harbour and 

8 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

along the southern slope of the hills from Lispole 
to Caherconree in the barony of Corkaguiny. In a 
gorge of the hills behind Lough Guitane in the 
Killarney district a ridge of basaltic formation is 
to be seen, and the same formation occurs on the 
island called Beginish in the harbour of Valencia. 
Geologists say that the loveliness of hill and valley 
in the mountainous regions of Kerry is attribut- 
able to the geologicarl formations, and certainly the 
Old Red Sandstone lends additional beauty to the 
scenery by the warmth of its colour. 

Lakes, — South Kerry is studded with loughs of 
various sizes and of infinite degrees of beauty. 
Lough Leane, or, as it is sometimes called, the 
Lower Lake of Killarney, is the largest of these 
loughs, being /^\ m. in length, and covering an 
area of 5001 acres. Next in size comes Lough 
Currace at Water ville, and *' Muckross," or the 
Middle Lake, connected with Lough Leane by a 
narrow neck of water spanned by Brickeen Bridge. 
The Upper Lake, considered by some people the 
most beautiful of the three lakes of Killarney, 
is connected with the Middle Lake by a stretch of 
water known as the Long Range, which, flowing 
between the hills and at the base of Eagle's Nest, 
rushes under the arches of the " Old Weir Bridge" 
to form the shady spot known as the " Meeting of 
the Waters." 

The next lough in point of beauty is Lough 
Caragh, which lies calm and still under the shadows 
of the hills to the W. of Killarney. Lough 
Currane, at Waterville, has long been famous for its 
fishing, and the Derryana Loughs, sunk in the 
recesses of the mountains near the same place, are 
celebrated for their scenery. Lough Guitane, 



KERRY 

lying at the foot of the graceful Croghane Moun- 
tain, and about four m. E. of Killarney, is a 
fine sheet of water, and the glen of Keppoch at 
the far end of this lough is well worth a visit on 
a long summer's day. 

The Black Valley has three loughs of incon- 
siderable size, and the Glencar district contains 
Lough Acoose and Cloon Lough. In the Dingle 
district there is Castlegregory Lake, a shallow 
piece of water guarded by sandhills from the 
encroaching waters of Brandon Bay ; the " White 
Lake," at the head of the Cloghane Valley ; 
Lough Cruttia, in the wide gorge torn by the ages 
in the side of Mount Brandon ; the Coumanare 
Lakes, three in number, in the range of hills which 
separates the northern and southern portions of the 
barony of Corkaguiny ; Lough Adoon and Lough 
Coumclohane, in the same range of hills ; and 
lastly, on the southern shore of Kenmare River 
there are the beautiful Cloonee Loughs, Lough 
Inchiquin and Glanmore Lough, each vieing with 
the other in beauty. 

To name all the loughs in Kerry would be 
impossible in the space of this little Guide. Their 
number and variety would entail a lengthy descrip- 
tion, and it must suffice to give this outhne. 

Rivers, — The rivers of Kerry flow in almost 
every direction, except towards the E. The main 
streams rise in the eastern mountain land which 
marks the boundary between Kerry and Cork, and 
thence spread out to find their various ways to the 
sea. The river Feale, flowing by Abbeyfeale and 
Listowel, widens into the Cashen, and mingles its 
waters with the Shannon in the sea near Bally- 
bunion ; the brown Flesk and the Maine flow by 

lO 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

Castleisland and Farranfore, and join, and make, for 
the rest of their journey, the Maine River, which 
ends its course in the sandy harbour of Castlemaine 
at the head of Dingle Bay. The river Laune, 
which joins the sea near Killorglin, may be said 
to have its source in the Killarney Lakes, Into 
these lakes flow two considerable streams, one 
the Flesk, which, joined by the Clydagh from 
the Derrynasaggart Mountains and the Ouncencree 
from the bogs and hills of the north, flows a fine 
broad, dashing river to the Killarney lake at 
Cahirnane ; the other, the Geerameen, which 
flows from the Black Valley to the Upper Lake. 
The Roughty river drains the Kilgarvan Valley 
as far as Kenmare, and the Kerry Blackwater 
flows due south from Lough Brin to join 
the sea at Dromore, on the Kenmare river. 
The little streams flowing southwards at Sneem 
and Darrynane are pretty, but unimportant ; but 
the short river leading from Lough Currane at 
Waterville to Ballinskelligs Bay is famous for its 
salmon fishery. Here the weir granted by charter 
by King John is still to be seen, and is still profitable. 
Beyond this is the Inny, flowing in a long straight 
silvery line from Balloughisheen Pass to Ballinskel- 
ligs Bay ; and the Ferta, which flows out at Cahir- 
civeen, and the Caragh, which is the outflow of the 
lovely lake of that name. In the barony of Cork- 
aguiny there are but two rivers of any size and 
importance. The Cloghane, which rises in the 
White Lake, and flows at the eastern side of 
Mount Brandon to join the sea at Cloghane. 
This is an excellent little salmon river. The 
Feoghana, on the western side of Brandon, rises 
in a deep gorge, and flows in a succession of pools 

II 



KERRY 

and streams to join the sea at Smerwick Harbour. 
These two rivers, belonging to Lord Ventry, are 
strictly preserved. 

Mountains, — The highest peaks in Ireland are 
found in Kerry, in the Reeks and Carrantuohill, the 
last name meaning " The inverted reaping hook J' 
The heights of these peaks are as follow : — 

Carrantuohill, . . 3414 ft. 

Beenkeragh, . . 3314 ft. 

From a distance the two peaks look very much 
the same height. Carrantuohill practically domin- 
ates the whole county of Kerry, and from the 
summit may be seen the mountains and loughs, 
the sea-girt isles, and the long fiords, laid out 
as though on a map at the feet of the climber. 
Here and there a prominent hill may shoulder out 
a part of the view, but the defect can be supple- 
mented by a knowledge of geography and a vivid 
imagination. 

The next highest and most Important mountain 
in Kerry is Mount Brandon. Seen from the sea, 
this mountain presents a more imposing presence 
than Carrantuohill; for, though only 3127 ft. 
high, its base is far-stretching, even to the shores 
of the Atlantic ; whereas the range of the Reeks 
being further inland, the highest points are not 
so impressive. Brandon is a most fascinating 
mountain, and it so grows on those who know 
it well that it gets to seem a living thing. 
The deep cleft in the E. side which contains 
Lough Cruttia was once, it is said, the bed of a 
glacier, the moraine of which may be seen in the 
boulder-strewn gorge which extends from the lake 
to the broad brown valley of Cloghane. The E. 

12 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

side of Brandon has been so torn and washed by 
the storms of centuries that the rocks are bare of 
vegetation, and shine and shimmer in the sunlight. 
This process of erosion and breaking away of the 
crest of the mountain is still going on, as may be 
seen in the avalanche-like appearance of the gorge 
above Lough Cruttia. To view this mountain on 
a fine clear day from the Connor Hill road is an ex- 
perience not to be forgotten ; to climb to the summit 
and learn its secret is an education to be left to those 
who love to learn the story of the mountains first 
hand from the mountains themselves. On the 
highest summit of Mount Brandon are to be seen 
the remains of an ancient oratory where St Brandon 
said Mass long ages ago. A pilgrimage to the 
top of the mountain takes place each year from 
Cloghane, but it is now many years since the good 
Bishop of Kerry said Mass on the site of this 
ancient oratory. 

Mangerton Mountain comes next in the list of 
important mountains in Kerry. It is one of the 
most prominent features of the scenery about Kil- 
larney, and one of the first mountains the stranger 
sees when approaching the town by the railway. 
Its height is only 2756 ft. above the sea-level, 
being some 40 ft. lower than Bautregaum, and 
only 2 ft. higher than the graceful and little 
known Beenoskee (Hill of the Shadows), which is 
one of the principal peaks in the Dingle range of 
hills. 

But though Mangerton is not one of the highest, 
it is one of the most massive mountains in Kerry, 
a big, solid, somewhat uninteresting lump of 
heather and rock. Its very weight seems to 
impress the imagination of the beholder. There 



KERRY 



is nothing bold or grand or picturesque about It save 
perhaps the precipice which leads to the great gorge 
torn in Its side, and called in the language of the 
country " Gloun-na-Coppal," or the Glen of the 
Horses. 

Mangerton is not even hard to climb. A steady 
slope leads from base to summit, passing along the 
shoulder of the hill by the little lake called the 
"Devil's Punchbowl," and again rising some- 
what more abruptly to the moss-crowned top. 
But though in appearance solid and unimposing, 
and though its ascent is devoid of any element of 
chance or excitement, there Is a view to be ob- 
tained of the most exquisite and enchanting descrip- 
tion. Below lies the forest laid out as a map where 
the red deer are to be seen in the " corries " and 
flats. Beyond rise the blue mountains of Dun- 
kerron over the silver streak of the Upper Lake, and 
beyond again mountain on mountain meets the 
eye. Southwards lies Kenmare River, and in the 
shining horizon the Bull and Cow Rocks, off the 
coast of Dursy Island; and away eastward of those 
landmarks, the long line of the coast of County Cork. 
Northwards lie the plains of Kerry and Cork, 
the lower hills lost in the prevailing flatness which 
stretches out dim and blue to the Shannon and the 
distant land of Clare away beyond the river. 

The Slieve Mish range of hills contains two 
points of considerable height, Bautregaum, 2796 ft. 
above the sea, and Caherconree, 2715 ft. These 
peaks can be ascended either from Tralee by keep- 
ing along the ridge from Foley's Glen, W., or from 
Camp Station. There is no difliculty In the climb, 
and the view over the bays of Dingle and Tralee Is 
well worth the trouble. 

14 



T 



GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES 

Waterfalls. — I now come to the waterfalls of this 
fairyland county. There are two as well known as 
Killarney itself — Tore Cascade and O' Sullivan Cas- 
cade. The one falls almost sheer over a cHfF between 
the shoulders of Tore and Mangerton Mountains, 
and the other leaps in detachments down the gorge 
in the side of Toomie's Mountain on the far shore 
of the Lower Lake. Both these cascades are 
celebrated and worthy of the reputation they have 
gained. But in the recesses of the mountains, 
when the floods are out, there are other falls to 
be seen. 

Go to Brandon when there has been a spell of rain 
and see the waterfall at the head of Lough Cruttia 
pouring down white from the very heart of the hill, 
or the silver streak which slips down the cliffs at 
the head of Lough Avoonane or Lough Adoon. 
Or go to the Coumenard Loughs when the rain 
storms have filled the springs and saturated the 
land, and you will understand then what is meant 
by "the sound of many waters," and this music of 
the hills will live with you all your days ; or turn 
around as you drive along to Glencar and look at 
the peaks of Carrantuohill and Beenkeragh, when 
the flood is coming from Lough Coomloughra 
high up in the clouds, and you will doubt if the 
kingdom can ofJer a more wonderful mountain 
scene. 

In the solitudes on the S.E. shore of Kenmare 
River there are numbers of beautiful falls to be 
seen. But there is nothing big in the way of 
waterfalls in Kerry. It is the charming variety of 
these little homely cascades which defies description 
and fascinates the wanderer. They rush and tear 
down the mountain sides through a tangle of fern 

IS 



KERRY 

and heather ; they seam the precipice with a line 
of snow ; they leap from the brown glens over the 
cliffs into the heaving, sobbing sea; and they 
murmur down the grey rocky slopes in the vast 
recesses of the mountains. 

They are the great compensations for wet 
weather and soothing whispers from the great 
heart of nature, urging restless spirits to seek for 
the promised peace in the shelter of the everlasting 
hills :— 

<'The mountains also shall bring peace." 

The last remarks to be made in this chapter 
must be with regard to the seas of Kerry. It 
might be imagined that the headlands, pushing 
out further to the W. than any in the British 
Isles, and even than any in Europe except 
Iceland, would be exposed to the greatest seas. 
But as regards Kerry this is not the case. 
The extreme points of Dunmore, the Blasket 
Islands, Valencia, and the Skelligs are at least 
200 m. from the *' 1000 fathoms line." That 
line nearing the S. coast opposite to Cape 
Clear to within 100 miles, bends in a loop around 
the coast of Kerry, and only comes near to Ireland 
again at the N.W. corner of Mayo, where it is 
within 60 m. of the shore. The great western 
rollers dissipate their force in crossing comparatively 
shallow water before they reach the headlands of 
Valencia and the Blaskets, and, consequently, the 
waves are not of the same magnitude as they are 
in places where the "1000 fathoms line" 
approaches nearer the shore. But the difference 
is not apparent to an ordinary observer, and some 
of the storm seas around the coast of Kerry will 
satisfy even the most exacting critic. 
16 



CLIMATE 



III. Climate 



Rainfall — It is often said that the one great draw- 
back to Kerry is the amount of wet weather which 
falls to the lot of the dwellers in this delectable 
land. Taking the period from 1881 to 1900, the 
statistics show that the average number of rain days 
per year was for Valencia 247, and for Killarney 
223, and the rainfall during the same period aver- 
aged 55.17 inches for Valencia and 56.47 inches 
for Killarney. July, it is true, is usually rather a 
rainy month in Kerry, and from November to March 
the county gets a full share of wet weather. But 
sometimes fine dry weather is experienced in 
January, though it often has to be paid for later 
on. The finest months are May, June, August, 
September, and October, but April is a delightful 
month in Kerry, even though the heavy showers 
sometimes upset arrangements for touring. But 
having said so much against the rainy climate, some- 
thing must be said for it. The rain in Kerry is not, 
as a rule, the dull persistent downpour one experi- 
ences in some places. If it rains, it rains with a 
will and an energy indescribable. But there are 
really few days when it is not possible to go out. 
The skies clear quickly and after a downpour 
the sun comes out and the rain is forgotten. 
The old doggerel lines describing the Kerry 
weather will often come to the traveller's 



memory : 



'* When the barometer rises very, 
How it rains in Cork and Kerry ! 
When the barometer falls, O lawk I 
How it rains in Kerry and Cork I " 

17 



KERRY 

Temperature, — Kerry enjoys a singularly equable 
temperature — possibly the mildest to be found in 
the British Isles. The Gulf Stream, which glides 
across the Atlantic bringing its warm currents to 
meet the colder waters of the Northern Ocean, 
though it may produce a good deal of rain, 
undoubtedly contributes to the mildness of the 
climate and enables a variety of sub-tropical 
vegetation to grow and flourish in the open. 
Occasionally the mountains are covered with 
snow in winter, and frosts occur but never last 
long. 

At Valencia, in the period from 1881 to 1900, 
the maximum temperature was registered at the 
average of 56.0 and the minimum at 45.7. 
The maximum temperature at Killarney during 
the same period being 56.2 and the minimum 42.8. 
The amount of possible sunshine registered at 
Valencia, taking a possible 100 as standard, was 34. 

From the statistics it might be inferred that 
Kerry was a dull, gloomy, sunless quarter of the 
globe. But the contrary impression remains 
on the minds of those who know the county 
well. There is no part of Ireland which 
leaves such a sunny memory as Kerry. The 
climate may be compared to a lengthened 
April day when swishing rain is succeeded by 
gleams of sunshine. When it is fine in Kerry it 
really is fine, and the brilliance of the sun and the 
blueness of the sky can only be likened to Italian 
skies and sunshine. The colours of the hills and 
the whole beauty of the scenery of the county is 
enhanced by this combination of cloud and rain and 
sunshine to a remarkable degree. 

And, lastly, for the time to visit this county. 

18 



FAUNA AND FLORA 

It matters not at what season the visitor comes, 
whether in Winter, when possibly the mountains are 
covered with snow and the hoar frost is on the 
birch trees; in Spring, when the deciduous trees 
are a vivid green, and the apple and May blossom 
white against a background of purple hills ; in 
Summer, when the brown on the bogs and hills has 
turned a subdued green, and the woods are rich 
with foliage ; or in Autumn, when the whole county 
is a perfect concert of colour. The charm will catch 
hold of the traveller and he will (if he be a lover of 
scenery) admit that there are few parts of the earth 
where nature presents a more attractive appearance. 
Travellers should never be deterred by statistics 
of weather. There is hardly a day throughout the 
year when it is impossible to go out and enjoy the 
grand scenery of this county. And often visitors 
will be forced to admit that gathering clouds and 
drifting rain add to the beauty of the mountains. 



IV. Fauna and Flora 

Animals, — The County of Kerry has the 
distinction of being the only part of Ireland 
where the wild red deer [cervus elaphus)^ in- 
digenous to the country, are still to be found. 
The forest of Muckross and that of the Earl of 
Kenmare, which " marches '' with it, are the places 
where these red deer are to be seen. The former 
forest embraces the west slope of Mangerton Moun- 
tain, and Tore, and the Toomies, and the latter the 
hills and corries behind Derrycunihy, the lower 
slopes of the Purple mountain and Glena. Both 
these forests being strictly preserved are inaccessible 

19 



KERRY 

to tourists. But the wild red deer may frequently be 
seen when driving to Derrycunihy, or when 
descending the " long range " from the upper 
lake to Dinas by boat ; and an attraction to the 
ascent of Mangerton is afforded in the view over the 
forest ground which lies beneath, where deer may 
always be observed with the aid of a telescope. 
Japanese deer, beautiful creatures about the size 
of a fallow deer, live in the woods which clothe the 
sides of Tore and the whole chain of hills to 
Derrycunihy. Occasionally one of these animals 
may be seen, but they are not fond of the open as 
a rule, and hence the chance of a sight of one of 
them is not so common as it is of the red deer. 
Wild goats are found in the inaccessible cliffs of 
Brandon and Carrantuohill, and a few exist on 
" Eagle's Nest." Foxes and badgers are in con- 
siderable numbers in the fastnesses of the hills, but 
needless to say are rarely seen owing to their noc- 
turnal habits, and the fact that the greater part of 
their lives is spent underground in safe places which 
defy the efforts of the spade. Hill shepherds see 
them, however, and tell stories of their evil deeds. 
The mountain hare i^lepus variabilis) is the only 
species of hare found in Kerry. On the high 
mountains in winter time this animal turns nearly 
white, and instances of pure white specimens have 
occurred more than once. Years ago the marten 
cat was not uncommon in the woods about Glena 
Toomies and Caragh Lake, but of late years it has 
been rarely heard of and still more rarely seen. The 
stoat is fairly common, but the weasel is unknown. 
Otters are too numerous to please the fishermen. 
But like the fox and badger, they are rarely seen 
by casual visitors. Occasionally an otter may be 

20 



FAUNA AND FLORA 

observed fishing in lonely lake or stream, but the 
sight is of rare occurrence. The squirrel and 
the mole are unknown in Kerry. The common 
seal is found all round the coast, and a walk along 
the cliffs by Smerwick or Valencia, or an evening 
in a boat under the cliffs of Eske, near Dingle, 
is sure to be rewarded by the sight of a seal. 
Many years ago, when seals were protected at 
Derreen, it was a common enough sight to see 
three or four of these animals lying on the kelp- 
covered rocks at low tide. But the injury done to 
the salmon fishing has necessitated interference with 
this sanctuary. In former days the peasant fisher 
folk around the coast made money by the capture 
of young seals in the caves. The flesh boiled 
down produced a valuable oil, which was much 
in request. This limited industry has now ceased, 
and seals have increased in numbers of late years. 
Mr Trench, in his " Realities of Irish Life," 
describes this exciting and rather dangerous occupa- 
tion, and the caves where he lays the scene of his 
and others exploits are on the S. shore of Kenmare 
river, not far from Derreen. 

Birds, — Chief amongst the birds of Kerry is 
the golden eagle. He is given the place of honour 
because, though nowadays hardly ever seen or heard 
of, on more than one occasion in comparatively 
recent years the bird and the nest have been met 
with in Kerry. In 1887 a pair of golden eagles 
built their nest in the crags of the mountain called 
" Eagle's Nest," near Killarney. The egg-collect- 
ing propensity, which has done such damage to our 
wild birds, caused the nest to be harried by some 
unknown person, and the eagles have never returned. 
About the same time a party when woodcock 

Zl 



KERRY 

shooting near the same mountain saw a pair of 
golden eagles which soared and circled in spirals 
overhead for a long time. Peasants in the 
Iveragh Mountains and on by Waterville tell of 
the days when eagles were numerous enough to 
be a serious cause of anxiety to flock masters. 
The osprey has been seen on various occasions, 
and as late as 1904 one of these birds was seen near 
Lough Avoonane under the high saddle-back peak 
of Brandon. The birds do not nest in Kerry, 
and the specimens seen from time to time are 
probably migrants. The peregrine falcon is still to 
be found in the wilder parts of the county where 
inaccessible cliffs afford safe nesting places. The 
merlin, kestrel, and hen harrier are all fairly common. 
There are only two owls known in Kerry. The 
barn owl (strixjlammed) and the long- eared owl (asio 
otus). The latter is frequently met with in the 
woods in winter time, where he sometimes falls a 
victim to mistaken identity. A beater shouts 
'' mark cock," and the poor owl falls. The 
red grouse is the only specimen of the tetraonidae 
to be found in the county. Black game, 
ptarmigan, or capercailzie do not exist. This 
information is given for the benefit of Scotch 
visitors, who almost invariably ask the question. 
Quail were formerly found in Kerry, but for 
many years they have not been seen. Partridges, 
too, are becoming less numerous every year. 
The chief of the game birds are the woodcock 
and snipe, which come in large numbers every 
winter. Many of both these species of birds breed 
in the county. The raven is still to be seen in 
the wild district to the W. and N. of Dingle, 
and in some of the more remote districts of 

22 



FAUNA AND FLORA 

the county, whilst the hooded Royston or grey 
crow is common in almost every part of Kerry. 
Rooks and magpies are too common to need mention- 
ing. The magpie, it should be remarked, is not a 
native Irish bird. He came to the county some 
time about the end of the seventeenth century, and, 
like other English settlers, has become more Irish 
than the native Irish birds. As in England, 
he is a bird around whom many superstitions 
have gathered, and to fail to take off the hat to 
a single magpie is to court ill luck for the day. 
Starlings are winter visitants to Kerry, and in 
October when the autumn leaves are falling and the 
reeds beginning to fade by the lake shores, vast flocks 
of starlings appear and roost in the reed beds and 
osiers along the shores of Lough Leane. The 
wings of these hosts as they whirl and rise 
and fall in the air make a mighty rustling sound, 
bringing to mind the lines of Dante : — 

'•' And as the wings of starlings bear them on 
In the cold season, in large band and full, 
Hither, thither, downward, upward." 

When November is past these large bands break 
up into smaller bodies and disperse all over the 
county, to disappear when spring returns. 

It would be impossible within the space of this 
short chapter to enumerate the smaller birds of 
Kerry, those which make the woods in spring re- 
sound with song, and which, even in winter time 
when the days are mild, seem to forget the season 
and sing lustily. But a few will be mentioned 
which are not of common occurrence. Late 
in autumn, when crossing the Connor Hill Pass, 
especially if the weather has been stormy, the little 
snow bunting may be seen. This pretty little brown- 

23 



KERRY 

and-white migrant flits along the road before the 
traveller, affording a good opportunity for observa- 
tion. The grasshopper warbler may be heard in May 
in the neighbourhood of Killarney, and the goat- 
sucker {^caprimulgus) both heard and seen late on a 
summer evening by the copsewoods at Caragh, or 
on the edge of the great Poul decka plantation at 
the foot of Mangerton, and in the woods around 
Parknasilla. The wheat-ear chat is a summer 
visitor, and met with in most parts. The golden 
oriole has been seen and shot near the old Castle 
of Rahinane near Ventry within recent years. 
But, being a maritime county, perhaps the most 
interesting ornithological observations will be 
amongst the sea birds which abound all round 
the shores of the county. The gannet or 
solan-goose breeds on the small Skeliig Rock, 
and can often be seen to great advantage when 
fishing in Dingle Bay or along the coast of Valencia. 
The sight of gannets fishing is one of the most 
interesting in the field of marine ornithology. The 
birds soar up in the air, keeping a sharp look-out 
by bending the head down to see the first sign 
of their prey. Then suddenly half closing 
their wings, they plunge headlong into the sea. 
The common cormorant {^Phalacrocorax Carhop 
and the shag (P. graculus) are met with all along 
the coast. The former, to the distress of fly fishers, 
goes in large numbers to the inland waters, especially 
to Lough Leane and Caragh. Choughs are to be 
found at various points of the coast where the cliffs 
are highest. They are not so numerous as formerly, 
but enough are left still to interest and please the 
observer. Of gulls we have the ^* greater black 
back'' which nests on the Blasket Islands, the lesser 

24 



FAUNA AND FLORA 

black back which has a sanctuary for breeding in 
the lone Mucklaghmore Rock in Tralee Bay, the 
kittiwake, herring, and common gull, which breed 
all along the rock-bound coast in vast numbers. 
To the Blasket Islands the puffins come in May 
to nest in the holes, and there, too, is to be found 
the nest of the little storm petrel (Mother Carey's 
Chicken). Large numbers of Brent geese, errone- 
ously called bernacle, come to Tralee Bay in winter, 
and in Dingle harbour during the same season the 
great northern diver may frequently be observed. 
This bird is known by the name of " the loon." 
Wild swans in hard weather come to Lough Gill 
near Castle Gregory and the bogs to the north of 
Killarney, and the attractive bit of waste marsh near 
Ross castle always holds flocks of wild geese in winter 
time. The common wild duck, widgeon, pintail, 
shoveller duck, and golden eye are found in the 
inlets along the coast, whilst the teal is fairly 
numerous on the inland bogs and loughs. 
Herons are numerous in Kerry, and their nesting 
places vary from the high trees at Beaufort near 
Killarney and Ballyseedy near Tralee, to the stunted 
holly bushes in Lough Guitane and the steep cliffs 
of Eske near Dingle. 

Fish, — The coast of Kerry is rich in the variety 
of fish obtainable at various seasons of the year. 
Mackerel, herring, cod, ling, sole, turbot, and 
whiting abound in the seas from Kerry Head to 
Ballinskelligs Bay. Pollack fishing can be enjoyed 
to perfection around the cliffs from Bull Head 
to Ventry harbour, and amidst the rocks and islands 
of the Blasket Sounds and all around the coast to 
Kenmare. Bass are also to be got in the '* Short 
Strand" near Dingle and in Ballinskelligs Bay. 



KERRY 

"Connor fish,'' a species of bream, are caught 
with stout rod and line on the Magharee Islands 
and at the foot of the cliffs near Brandon Creek, 
and in fact in most places around the coast. 

The chief salmon rivers are the Feale, the 
Maine, the Laune, Caragh, and Glencar rivers ; 
the Flesk, running into Killarney lakes, the 
Roughty river flowing into the Bay of Kenmare, 
the Black water and Sheen rivers, and the river 
running from the Glenmore valley into Kilma- 
killage harbour on the south side of Kenmare bay, 
and lastly the Cloghane, Feoghana, and Auniscaul 
rivers in the Dingle peninsula. Killarney and 
Caragh lakes and Lough Currane are the chief 
salmon lakes in Kerry, but salmon and white trout 
fishing can be enjoyed with permission of the owner 
in Lough Gal or the White Lake at the head of 
Cloghane river in Lough Auniscaul and in the 
Derryana loughs near Waterville. Innumerable 
lakes where small brown trout can be caught abound 
throughout the county, but before attempting to fish it 
is well to make enquiries as to the ownership. This 
little courtesy is very necessary to prevent disappoint- 
ment. It is always safest to assume that all lakes, 
save those which are well known as free fishing, 
such as Killarney lakes, Caragh, and Waterville, 
belong to some one, it may be a private owner, an 
hotel, or a syndicate, and it is not always safe to 
trust to general rumour. 

Flora. — To the botanist the county of Kerry 
is a district of great interest and importance. 
The equable climate and the rich soil are favour- 
able to the growth of many plants known in southern 
Europe, but found scarcely anywhere in the British 
Isles. The arbutus or strawberry tree {^Arbutus unedo) 

26 



FAUNA AND FLORA 

flourishes on the islands and along the shores of 
Killarney lakes, and also along the shores of the 
Kenmare river. Tree ferns, eucalyptus, dracaenas, 
and bamboos can be seen in the sheltered woods 
and grounds about Killarney, Dingle, Kenmare, 
and Valencia Island, and at Rosdohan near 
Sneem, wattles mimosas, " bottle brushes," and 
the beautiful Datura flourish in the open. 
Fuchsia hedges are pretty adjuncts to the 
scenery about Dingle, and in places all round 
the coast, from Valencia to Cahirdaniel and 
Sneem. In the gardens of Glanleam in Valencia 
Island, an enormous fuchsia grows. The London 
pride [Saxtfraga umbrosa) grows on the rocky 
sides of the mountains above Dingle and Killarney, 
and the Irish spurge {^Euphorbia Hyherna) flourishes 
throughout the country to the distraction of the 
fishermen and the joy of the river poisoning poacher. 
The bogs of South Kerry are made beautiful in 
May and June by the exquisite flowers of the great 
butterwort [^Pinguicula grandiflora)^ which is said 
to only grow in the bogs of Cork and Kerry, 
whilst in the neighbourhood of Darrynane may be 
found the rare Simethis bicolor, first discovered 
in 1848, and which only grows in Kerry. 
The Killarney fern (Trichomanes radicans) has 
almost ceased to exist in Kerry owing to the cease- 
less desire to get it which takes possession of 
visitors. The Tunbridge filmy fern (^Hymeno- 
phyllum Tunhridgense) is fairly common. The 
marsh fern i^Asptdium ihelypteris) is found near 
Killarney. 

It may not here be out of place to mention the 
damage which is done by the careless and useless 
taking of ferns and flowers in a district like Kerry, 

27 



KERRY 

Many people gather the flowers and ferns, tear- 
ing them up by the roots only to throw them away 
a few miles further along the road. Others vainly 
try to transplant the Kerry flowers in other places, 
ignorant apparently of the fact that few, if 
any, of these plants ever flourish in alien soils. 
The destruction of ferns and flowers, and the 
wanton breaking of the branches of beautiful shrubs, 
must be deplored by all unselfish visitors who wish 
others to enjoy through many years the things they 
have enjoyed themselves. 

The county of Kerry is said to be richer in 
mosses than any other part of Ireland, and the 
woods around Killarney are perhaps the most 
favourable locality for this growth. Specimens 
are found here which occur in the West Indies and 
the Andes. 

Trees, — Scots firs, oak, beech, ash, silver birch, 
larch, and holly are the chief trees to be met with 
around Killarney, and in fact throughout all Kerry. 
The ash attains great size at Innisfallen Island, but 
it is an unsatisfactory tree. When age creeps on 
the damp climate aflPects it more than other trees. 
Remnants of the old forest growth are found in the 
stunted oak coppices in many a wild glen, and the 
cut away bogs all through the county display the 
remains of old forests in the hardened stumps and 
roots of fir trees bedded deep in the turf mould. 
This " bog wood " is cut up and sold to make 
excellent firing throughout the country houses and 
cottages of Kerry. 

Insects, — Amongst the butterflies to be found 
in Kerry are the following, which however are not 
commonly met with : the " painted lady " and 
the "clouded yellow." Of moths there are the 

28 



COMMUNICATIONS 

"death's head hawk moth," the "eyed hawk moth,'' 
and the " humming bird hawk moth," and the 
" six spot barnet." All of them are rare. There 
is no space to enumerate the common moths and 
butterflies which are met with in most places. 
A certain *' spotted slug," called (Geomalacus 
maculosus), which is only met with in Portugal 
and S. of Ireland, occurs in the district of 
Kenmare, round about the Clonee Lakes. 
Its colour is black or grey, with yellow spots. 
Castlemaine district is celebrated for being the 
locality where the Natterjack toad is found. 
This is the only species of toad found in the 
county. 

In concluding these short remarks on the fauna 
and flora of Kerry it may be well to mention that 
no pike are found in any river or lough in the 
county. 

V. Communications 

Railways, — The chief railway communication 
between the '' Kingdom of Kerry " and the outer 
world is afforded by the Great Southern and West- 
ern Line. The double line, which runs direct from 
Dublin to Cork, branches off into a single line at 
Mallow, and runs by Lombardstown, Banteer, 
Millstreet, Rathmore, and Headford Junction to 
Killarney. At Headford a branch line runs 
through Glenflesk by Loo Bridge, Morley's 
Bridge, and Kilgarvan to Kenmare, where it 
ends. From Killarney the line goes by 
Ballybrack and Farranfore Junction and Gortatea 
Junction to Tralee, the county town. A 
branch line goes from Farranfore by Molahiffe, 

29 



KERRY 

Castlemaine, Milltown, and Killorglin to Caragh 
Lake, and thence by Glenbeigh and the *' Mountain 
Stage " along the line of the cliffs to Kells, Cahir- 
civeen, and Valencia Harbour. From Gortatea 
Junction a short line leads direct to Castleisland. 
North Kerry can be reached by a line of the 
Great Southern and Western Railway, which runs 
from Limerick by Rathkeale, Abbey feale, Listowel, 
Abbeydorney, and Ardfert, direct to Tralee. From 
Tralee a short branch Hne connected with the Great 
Southern Railway runs by the Spa to Fenit (7 m. ), 
and from Listowel to Ballybunnion on the coast 
runs the " Lartigue Railway," a curious single rail 
concern, which apparently fulfils the needs demanded 
of it. A line of light railway called the '' Tralee 
and Dingle" line runs for 31 m. down the long 
peninsula of Corkaguiny past Blennerville, Castle- 
gregory Junction, Auniseaul, and Lispole to the 
terminus in Dingle. A branch of this small line 
runs from Castlegregory Junction to the village of 
that name, 7 m. distant. 

The main line of the Great Southern and Western 
Railway goes through the flat country dividing 
North Kerry from S. and W., and the branch lines 
to Kenmare, Cahirciveen, and Valencia and Dingle 
follow very much the same routes as the old mail 
cars did in former years, climbing the hills and 
running through the valleys with astonishing 
pertinacity. 

These lines, which do not in the least interfere 
with the scenery of the county, have been made 
with due regard to the requirements of the several 
districts ; and apart from their enormous value to 
the agricultural and fishing population, they afford 
admirable facilities to visitors in arriving at the 

30 



COMMUNICATIONS 

several centres of interest which are described in 
this Guide. 

The journeys by the branch hnes, apart from the 
main object of getting from one place to another 
easily, are full of interest to the traveller ; for from 
the carriage window on all these lines beautiful 
views of the country are obtained along the entire 
route, and the railway journey becomes to all 
intents and purposes an important part of the tour. 
It is perhaps unnecessary to say that the pace at 
which the trains travel does not altogether preclude 
the calm and deliberate enjoyment of the scenery. 

Roads. — The Kingdom of Kerry is extremely 
well supplied with roads, which for the most part 
are good ones, particularly in the western and southern 
parts of the county, where the traffic is comparatively 
light. A coach runs daily in summer time between 
GlengarifFe, Kenmare, and Killarney by the excel- 
lent road which tops the ridge of the Caha Moun- 
tains at the '' Tunnel " between GlengarifFe and 
Kenmare, and winds down the slope of the hills to 
the latter place. From Kenmare the road goes up 
the side of the Dunkerron Mountains to the 
"Windy Gap," and there descends gradually 
by Looseaunagh Lake and the woods of 
Derrycunihy and Muckross to Killarney. A 
coach going the reverse way by this same route 
leaves Killarney for GlengarifFe during what is 
called the tourist season, viz., the months of June, 
July, August, and September. During the summer 
season a coach goes from Kenmare to Parknasilla 
along a road which is as good as any in the county. 
A similar coach runs during the same period 
from Parknasilla daily to Sneem and Waterville, 
and on to Cahirciveen by a road which as far as 

3^ 



KERRY 

Water ville can be classed as exceptionally good, and 
from Waterville to Cahirciveen indifferent. The 
above are the main coach routes in Kerry, which 
take visitors through a good part of the best scenery. 
But the roads traversed by these coaches are by 
no means the only roads to be recommended as 
suited for driving or cycling. 

Cycling, — A good road leads direct from Kil- 
larney to Tralee, with a branch at Farranfore 
which goes to Castleisland and thence round to 
Tralee. Another road from Farranfore, fairly 
good, leads W. by Fieries village, Milltown, 
and Killorglin, and thence to Caragh. From 
Caragh a road with a good surface goes by 
Rossbeigh, "Mountain Stage," and Kells (following 
for the most part the line of railway) to Cahir- 
civeen. A road much to be recommended is the 
one leading from Cahirciveen around by Ballins- 
kelligs and St Finan's Glen. The road leading 
W. from Killarney to Glencar, past Beaufort and 
Churchtown, is quite respectable,and in parts excel- 
lent. From Glencar the hill road by what is called 
the " Devil's Elbow " leads along the E. side of 
Caragh Lake to the hotel and railway station at 
Caragh, with a branch near Glounaguillegh School 
leading back eastwards to Killorglin. A good deal 
of walking must be done along this route, as the 
hills are steep. There is a good road from 
Killarney by way of Killaha and the " Robber's 
Glen " and Glenflesk to Kilgarvan and Kenmare. 
This road follows practically the line of the 
river Flesk as far as Loo Bridge, and from 
Morley's Bridge runs down the Valley of the 
Roughty River 15 m. to Kenmare. Two 
miles beyond Farranfore, on the direct road 

32 



COMMUNICATIONS 

to Tralee, a branch road leads W. along the 
base of the Slieve Mish Mountains to Castle- 
maine, Kill, Inch, and Auniscaul, where it 
joins the main road direct from Tralee to 
Dingle. This is a fair road to travel, and on 
a clear day affords a good view of mountain 
and sea. 

Only moderate praise can be given to the first ten 
miles of the road between Tralee and Dingle, but 
after passing Castlegregory Junction, going either 
direct by the main road or by the roundabout route 
via Connor Hill, the surface improves as the 
traveller pushes W. The road to Dingle round 
Slea Head, and even as far as Ballyferriter, is, 
however, excellent, and if it is not as good from 
Ballyferriter along to the pass of Knockavrogeen 
excuses must be made for the uneven surface 
in the lack of suitable material for mending. 
The main road from Tralee to Listowel is 
excellent, but as much cannot be said for the roads 
leading to Ballyheige, Ardfert, and Abbeydorney. 
The traihc on these roads is so great and they lie 
so low that it is difficult to keep the surface 
in a perfect state of repair, or in that state 
of repair which pleases cyclists and motorists. 
The cross roads and bye-ways in Kerry are too 
numerous to mention in detail, and only those will 
be enumerated which cross the mountains by the 
well-defined passes. 

Mountain Passes, — Of these mountain passes 
there are : — 

(i) The "Windy Gap," between Killarney 
and Kenmare. 

(2) "Moll's Gap," between Killarney and 
Sneem. 

c 33 



KERRY 

(3) Balloughbeama, between Kenmare and 
Glencar. - 

(4) Coomakista, between Sneem, Caherdaniel a 
and Waterville. 

(5) Balloughisheen, between Waterville and 
Glencar. 

(6) The Connor Hill pass, between Dingle, 
Cloghane, and Castlegregory. 

The roads over these principal passes are all 
good, and though the ascents and descents are in 
some instances steep and impossible to ride on a 
bicycle in places, there is nothing to stop a cyclist 
who is capable of walking for some little distance. 
Motor cars can be used on all the above passes. 
Other passes occur in different parts of the 
county, where the roads, though suitable for 
pedestrians and possible for cars, cannot be recom- 
mended as ideal roads to cyclists or motorists. 

These passes are : — 

(i) The Gap of Dunloe. 

(2) Windy Gap, leading from Glencar to Glen- 
beigh and Caragh. 

(3) The pass which leads from Foley's Glen, 
near Tralee, to Castlemaine, and is called Gloun- 
skeehy. 

(4) Caherbla, the pass which goes from Castle- 
gregory Junction up the Finglas River, and over 
the hills to Keel and Inch. 

(5) Marhin pass, leading from Ventry to 
Dunquin. 

(6) The pass which leads through the glen of 
the Owenreagh and on to Lough Brin, in 
Killarney district. 

All these can be walked or ridden on pony back 
or driven over in a car with care. 

34 



COMMUNICATIONS 

Lastly, there are the tracks over the mountains, 
which are inaccessible except to pedestrians. Of 
these may be mentioned the following : — 

( 1 ) The footway which leads over the hills 
from the head of Lough Currane, near Waterville, 
to Staigue Fort and Sneem. 

(2) The old road which runs far up the Clog- 
hane valley till its track is almost lost in the zigzag 
ascent of Mullochveal, to appear again a grassy 
way leading to the main road at Glens, near Dingle. 

(3) The old forest road from Derrycunihy 
Chapel to Kenmare. 

(4) The footpath which leads the wayfarer 
through the beautiful glen of Keppoch at the head 
of Lough Guitane, and on to near Kilgarvan. 

(5) The faintly indicated foot road leading 
through the gorge of Auniscaul by the lake side, 
and on over the hills to " Letteragh,'' the district 
on the north side of the barony of Corkaguiny. 

(6) The road which leads up the Black Valley, 
(" Coom Duv,") to the Brida Valley and Glencar. 

There are roads through lesser passes, such as 
that which goes by Glounaneenty and round the 
back of the Stacks Mountains to KildufF, and thence 
to Tralee. Only the most attractive passes, and 
those which will present themselves as most possible 
to tourists, have here been noted. 

In other parts of this small work some attention 
has been given to the less noted roads and passes 
when dealing with particular tours from the various 
centres. 



35 



KERRY 



VL Industries 

The county of Kerry is essentially an agricul- 
tural and fishing district, and the chief employ- 
ment of its people is in farming, whilst the principal 
towns are markets for the agricultural produce. 
Cattle, sheep on the hills, butter-making, and 
fishing — these are the means of living of the 
majority of the people of Kerry. The numerous 
creameries, co-operative and proprietary, which in 
recent years have sprung up all through the 
county, even in the most remote parts, have 
enabled farmers to realise better prices for their 
products ; and though the increase of these 
creameries may be fraught with some danger to 
the wellbeing of the land, there is no doubt 
that up to the present they have been a success. 
Of late years the breed of cattle has greatly 
improved, and if the same cannot be said of the 
horses it is owing to the introduction of a poorer 
stock, without those qualities which made Kerry 
horses so excellent in the past. The strain which 
produced the Liberator to win the " Grand 
National '^ is gone, and in its place is a breed 
possessing the by no means admirable qualities of 
the Suffolk Punch and Hackney. 

Fishing, — Besides agriculture pure and simple, 
there is a sort of transitional employment in parts 
of the county, where the people are half-fishermen, 
half-farmers. These are met with all around the 
coast from Kerry Head to the Blasket Islands, and 
from the latter place to Kenmare. The hardy 
dwellers on the shores of Kerry in their frail- 

36 



INDUSTRIES 

looking canoes reap a rich harvest in the herring 
and mackerel seasons. The Congested Districts 
Board has helped the fishing industry enormously 
by building piers and supplying boats and gear 
and nets on favourable terms, and there is every 
hope that this class of iisherfolk will become 
as well-to-do as their benefactors wish. In 
addition to these half-fisher class there are the 
fishermen proper, whose twenty-ton yawls lie in 
Dingle Harbour, and who make trawling and 
fishing in general their business in life. These 
regular fishermen are limited in number, and exist 
chiefly at Dingle and Fenit. The Dingle fisher- 
men are some of the finest and best seamen to be 
met with in Ireland. 

Convent and Cottage Industries, — Next there are 
the convent industries, which consist chiefly in lace- 
making, knitting, and embroidery. The beautiful 
work done by the girls in the convents of Kil- 
larney, Kenmare, and Cahirciveen is worthy of 
great praise, and will amply repay a visit of 
inspection. The cottage industries consist of 
weaving the coarse homespun thread in the western 
districts about Dingle, Cloghane, and Waterville. 
This hand-loom weaving is on the decline, as 
the larger mills in Tralee and Kenmare have had 
the efl^ect of starving out the cottage industry. 
But there are signs of a revival of the trade, and 
fresh interest appears to be taken in it by the Board 
of Technical Instruction. The colours of the 
various wools are obtained from dyes made from 
the wild flowers and the lichens and mosses found 
in the different districts. In Killarney a flourishing 
carving school was established some years ago by 
Lady Kenmare, and the perfection of design and 

37 



KERRY 

accuracy of execution shows the deftness of the m 
Kerry workers. m 

Mining and Quarrying. — Of mining there is none 
at the present time. Formerly there were copper 
mines in various parts of the county, and of late 
years sundry efforts have been made to "prospect" 
for further mining operations, but without much 
result. Quarrying is of the elementary type neces- 
sary for the building of cottages and houses, and 
the mending of roads. Years ago there was a 
large industry connected with the slate quarries in 
Valencia Island, but of late years this has ceased. 
The quarries overlooking the sea remain gaunt 
witness to the success of the past. 

VII. History 

The early history of the " Kingdom of Kerry " 
is so hidden in mystery and legend that there is no 
possibility of accurate detail being obtained till the 
early Christian period is reached. According 
to Dr Smith, whose book, published in the 
1 8th century, is a classic of great value, the 
sea-board of the county is mentioned by Ptolemy, 
and it seems clear that the Milesian emigration 
from Spain affected Kerry more strongly than any 
other county in Ireland. The former " barony " 
of Lixnaw and the place of that name which has 
survived all changes is supposed to have been 
originally called after the '' Luceni,'' a tribe which 
settled on the S. bank of the Shannon. 

As in England and Scotland, legend alone is 
available for the early records of the people. In 
Kerry this source is prolific of much that is interest- 

38 



HISTORY 

ing. There is the legend of a certain Queen Scota, 
the daughter of Pharaoh and wife of Milidh the 
Milesian, according to the *' Annals of the Four 
Masters/' whose grave is still shown in a wooded 
glen near Tralee ; there are stories of Finn Mac 
Coul and a warrior named Colman which the boat- 
men of Killarney are fond of recounting ; and there 
is the legend of Curoi of Daire, who carried away 
Blanaid, the beautiful maid, from the island of 
Mana, to Caherconree, where, after a time, she 
treacherously betrayed him into the hands of 
CuchuUin. There are legends of the great battle 
of Ventry and the doings of '* Conn of the hundred 
fights," and other heroes of the same period. 
But from the 6th century a more defined idea 
can be formed, and the old ruined shrines and 
beehive huts are records of the greatest value to 
emphasise the history of St Brandon, St Finan, 
and other saints whose lives were spent in claiming 
Ireland for the Cross. 

When the period of the coming of the Norman 
warriors is reached the historic records rest on 
a firmer foundation. The tribal wars between 
the O'Sullivans, O'Donoghues, O'Connors, and 
MacCarthys widen out into broader vistas, and 
a fairly defined path runs through the whole. 
At that time, i.e. about the year 1172, the 
present county of Kerry was held by the sept of 
O'Connors in the N., MacCarthy More, O'SuUi- 
van More, and O'Donoghue in the centre, whilst 
O' Sullivan Beare, the great chieftain of West Cork, 
held a strip of South Kerry along the shores of the 
Kenmare River. There were also minor septs or 
clans — O'Talveys and M'Gillicuddys, O'Connells 
and O'Mahonys, the latter being an offshoot of 

39 



KERRY 

the O' Sullivan More, to which clan they owed 
allegiance as their immediate lord. Both the 
O'Sullivan More and the M'Gillycuddy clan 
claimed descent from the King of Munster, Oilill 
Olum, who died in 234 a.d. But these minor 
clans were all dominated by the great MacCarthy 
and O'Donoghue chiefs. In fact, the MacCarthy 
More was practically the sovereign of the Kingdom 
of Kerry. 

Then Raymond le Gros, a follower of Henry 
II. of England, appeared on the scene, invited 
by the MacCarthy More to avenge him on his own 
son, who had rebelled. The barony of Clanmaurice 
was the reward which Raymond obtained for his 
assistance, and his son Maurice was the ancestor of 
the Earls of Kerry. But other soldiers of fortune 
came with Raymond le Gros, and notably the 
FitzGeralds ; and the history of Kerry was 
practically the history of this family from that 
time down to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
Originally of Florentine extraction, where the 
arms of the Gherardini are still to be seen, these 
bold warriors came to this land in the train of the 
Norman king. The world was restless in those 
days, and the constant battles between the rival 
factions in Florence sept alternately one party or 
another into exile. 

From Gerald FitzOtho, Governor of Pembroke 
Castle, who married Nesta, daughter of the Prince 
of South Wales, four branches of the Geraldines 
descended to form four distinct families. One line, 
through the Lords of OfFaly, went to form the 
house of Kildare ; a second line, through Raymond 
le Gros, went through the Earls of Kerry, Fitz- 
Maurice, to the present house of Lansdowne; a 

40 



HISTORY 

third went through John of Callan, who obtained 
grants of land from Edward I. to form the ill-fated 
house of Desmond ; whilst a fourth, springing from 
the same source by a second marriage, still exists 
in the families of the Knight of Kerry and Knight 
of Glin. 

But it is with the branch of the Geraldines who 
formed the unfortunate Desmond family that the 
history of Kerry is most concerned. It may 
have been that the beautiful colouring of Kerry, 
so hke Italy, made the '^ Gherardini '' feel at 
home in Ireland. The fact, however, remains 
that they stuck their roots deep in the country and 
became rapidly ''more Irish than the Irish.'* 
Their ranks, it is said, were from time to time 
recruited by fresh Florentine blood, particularly in 
1 304, when the Cavalcanti were expelled from that 
city, and with them their followers the Gherardini. 
The Geraldine reign in Kerry was marked by 
perpetual war between the Irish chieftain MacCarthy 
and the Desmond FitzGeralds, and in 1261 at 
Callan, near Kenmare, a great battle was fought 
which resulted in a complete victory for MacCarthy 
More. But shortly afterwards the MacCarthys 
quarrelled amongst themselves, and the FitzGeralds 
prevailed over them and kept the overlordship for 
many years, and became the great rulers of the 
Palatine County of Kerry and Desmond. 

I should here state that in the old days the river 
Maine divided what is known as the county of 
Kerry into '' Kerry,'' the western portion, and 
" Desmond," the eastern portion of the present 
county. Far removed from English influence, 
and having become ''more Irish than the Irish 
themselves," the brave and gallant Geraldines 

41 



KERRY 

ruled Kerry and Desmond as though it was an 
independent principality, and the Earls of Des- 
mond exercised almost royal prerogatives. This 
state of semi-independence was, so to speak, v/inked 
at whilst the English kings were struggling with 
the barons or busy with their wars abroad. But 
when the Wars of the Roses and the Battle of 
Towton (the bloodiest fight ever waged on English 
soil) had destroyed feudalism in England, the Tudor 
monarchs turned their attention to Ireland with a 
view to consolidating their dominions, and this 
epoch marked the beginning of the end for the 
Desmonds in Kerry. 

Mary Tudor had '' planted " the district of 
Leix, and called the area " King's County " and 
"Queen's County," after Philip II. of Spain and 
herself, and further "plantations" were in con- 
templation when Elizabeth came to the throne. 
But it was to Munster that this great queen 
chiefly turned her eyes, for Sir Henry Sidney, the 
father of the brave Sir Philip Sidney who died on 
the field of Zutphen, had written that there could 
be no peace till the palatinate jurisdiction of Des- 
mond was reduced. As a check to the Geraldine 
power, the queen had, in the year 1565, created 
MacCarthy More Earl of Glencar, and in 1576 
Sir William Drury marched with a small force of 
120 men to Kerry for the purpose of enforcing the 
Queen's writ in the palatinate. The Earl of 
Desmond offered him hospitality in Tralee, 
and to this place Sir WiUiam Drury marched. 
As he neared the town he was met by a large 
horde of " kernes " and the folk called in the 
picturesque language of the age " the Wild Evil 
Children of the Wood." They were the followers 

42 



HISTORY 

of the Earl of Desmond, and they were all armed. 
Drury mistook this demonstration for a sign of 
treacherous hostility, and promptly charged the 
opposing forces, who fled to the woods which at 
that time clothed the mountain slopes and the 
plains almost to the town of Tralee. Eleanor, 
Countess of Desmond, met Drury at the gates 
of the Castle, and with tears besought his pardon 
for the wild demonstration. She assured him 
that it was all merely a hunting party assembled 
in his honour, and Drury appears to have been 
satisfied with her explanation, and accepted her son 
as a hostage for his father's loyalty. But Gerald 
of Desmond, in spite of all warnings, still con- 
tinued his intrigues with the enemies of England. 
^'Quem deus vult perdere prius dementat " — never 
was this so forcibly shown as in the case of Gerald, 
Earl of Desmond. Spain was the great rival of 
England at this time, and in order to gain the aid 
of Philip of Spain and to retain their rights and 
privileges as palatine rulers, the Desmond chiefs 
raised the cry that the Catholic Church was in 
danger. 

Up to 1570 the religious movement had not 
caused any very great stir in Ireland. In the 
English Pale, it is true, the great chiefs and the 
Church had followed much the same lines as in 
England ; but the mass of the people in Ireland 
remained, as ever, attached to the Catholic Church. 
The friars and monks who had been turned 
out of their monasteries preached throughout the 
land and kept the faith alive. There was no 
active oppression, and no very serious attempt 
to interfere with doctrines on the part of Queen 
Elizabeth during the early part of her reign. 

43 



KERRY 

But from the moment the division became marked 
and Elizabeth was excommunicated it became a 
struggle between Spain and England, Philip II. 
and Elizabeth, between Catholic and Protestant. 

Thomas, the " Black '' Earl of Ormond, was the 
great rival of the Earl of Desmond. He had been 
educated with Edward VI. in England, and was a 
brave soldier and a faithful servant of Elizabeth. 
He it was who was sent to reduce the palatine 
county of Kerry to order, and he did it in this 
way. 

One column swept down the Iveragh side of 
Dingle Bay as far as Valencia, whilst two 
columns, one to the N. and the other to the S. 
of the Slieve Mish Mountains, operated in the 
fertile barony of Corkaguiny, burning and destroy- 
ing the crops, and driving all the cattle to Ventry. 
The country was left desolate. Ruined houses, 
homeless people, and stark corpses of defeated 
kernes marked the track of the " Black Earl." 
This was early in the year 1580; and as if this 
raid of the " Thierna Duhh " was not enough 
trouble, eight hundred Spaniards and Italians must 
needs land at Smerwick with Dr Saunders and 
a consecrated banner. Having established them- 
selves at Fort Del Ore on the shores of Smerwick 
Harbour, they raised the hopes of the Geraldine 
clan, and soon the war cry, " Papa aboo," an- 
nounced them in rebellion once more. 

Lord Grey de Wilton, the new Viceroy, fresh 
from his defeat in Glenmalure, County Wicklow, 
came swiftly to Kerry, and with him came Walter 
Raleigh, then a captain in the queen's service, and 
Edmund Spenser, who afterwards wrote the Faery 
Queen, and Edward Denny — ^' Ned Denny," of 

44 



HISTORY 

the despatches of the day, whose family afterwards 
became one of the foremost Kerry families, and on 
whose tomb in Waltham Abbey is written — 

'^ A Courtier of the chamber, 
A soldier in the field, 
Whose tongue could never flatter, 
And whose heart could never yield." 

Admiral Winter, too, came round by sea with 
the fleet, including the little Revenge of famous 
memory, and co-operated with the land forces. 
But three days finished the business, and then 
came that ugly incident of the killing of the garrison 
which has cast a slur on the fair names of some 
heroes. All this, however, can be seen in "West- 
ward Ho " and " Maelcho," books which are 
known now to every one. 

After the taking of Fort Del Ore the old Earl 
of Desmond was a hunted fugitive with a price on 
his head. For three years he led a wild roving life 
with a few followers, raiding the castles of those 
of his clan who had made their submission to the 
English. Many a time he was called on to submit, 
but as often refused, saying that he " would rather 
desert God than his men." Eleanor, Countess of 
Desmond, seems to have shared her husband's 
hardship most bravely, and on one occasion when 
keeping Christmas near Killmullock, he was " sore 
beset" and had to fly and stand up to his neck in an 
icy cold river " with his lady " to escape the 
English soldiers. But at last the end came in the 
wood of Glounaneenty near Tralee. Surrounded 
and unable to escape, the Earl of Desmond 
begged that his life might be spared. But a ruffian 
called Kelly struck oflP his head, which was sent 

45 



KERRY 

to the Traitor's Gate in the Tower of London. 
His followers carried his body at night to the 
little churchyard of ''Kilnanonaim" or ^« Church of 
the Name," near Castleisland. So ended the futile 
attempt of this last Earl of Desmond to keep his 
feudal power and palatine rights in the face of 
advancing civilisation. The story is not uncommon. 
Scotland shows examples somewhat similar and 
as pathetic. 

After the quelling of this rebellion Kerry had rest 
and peace for a number of years. Systematic " under- 
takers '^ and commissioners appeared on the scene and 
took possession of large slices of the forfeited estates ; 
Sir Valentine Browne, the Herberts, Sir Edward 
Denny, and many others established their footing in 
the county, and as was the case in England, the 
feudal castles gave way to the country houses, and 
the feudal lords began to merge into the country 
gentlemen. Then came the defeat and wrecking 
of the Spanish Armada and the rise of England 
as a great sea power. It was just before the 
days of the Spanish Armada that Philip II. 
of Spain paid ^looo into the Irish Treasury 
for permission to fish on the Irish coast. Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert reported to Queen Elizabeth 
that 600 Spanish vessels were engaged in 
this fishing trade, and he mentioned the Blaskets 
as one of the centres of this trade. 

Everything seems to have gone on fairly 
well in Kerry from the year 1588 to 1598. 
In the year 1598, however, O'Neill, Earl of 
Tyrone, rose in rebellion, and Sir Henry Bagnal, 
who was sent to fight him, was badly defeated at 
Callan near Armagh. Tyrone then marched into 
Munster and proclaimed JameS;, son of Thomas 

46 



HISTORY 

FitzGerald, and grandson of the 15th Earl, Earl 
of Desmond. The southern Geraldines rose in 
rebellion. The White Knight, the Knight of 
Glin, and FitzMaurice Earl of Kerry, joined 
hands with the O'Donoghues and MacCarthys 
and O'Sullivans in support of the " Sugane " 
Earl, or the '' Earl of Straw," as the word implies. 
This was a serious rebellion. The Irish were 
drilled and disciplined, and they were commanded 
by many officers who had served the Queen and after- 
wards deserted. Moreover, they were well supplied 
with arms and ammunition. One of the leaders 
of the revolt in Kerry was Florence MacCarthy, who 
had married a daughter of the late Earl of Glencar, 
and had assumed the title of MacCarthy More. 
He was captured by the President of Munster, 
Sir George Carew, and then asked that he might be 
created Earl of Glencar and get 300 men to defend 
his country. But no notice was taken of this 
request, and Sir George Carew only released 
him on condition that he kept the peace. The 
Sugane Earl took the field with 500 of the 
men of Kerry, and was joined by Lord Kerry 
and a good many disaffected persons. The 
Lord President, well knowing the great affection 
which the people of Kerry had for the Geraldines, 
caused James the son of Gerald, the luckless i6th 
Earl, to be created Earl of Desmond by patent. 
He had been in the custody of the English 
Government since 1579? when his mother delivered 
him up as a hostage to Sir William Drury for his 
father's fidelity. But he was a Protestant, and so 
the plan of detaching the followers of the " Sugane 
Earl " by this means failed. 

The Lord President, Sir George Carew, estab- 

47 



KERRY 

lished his headquarters at Carrigfoyle in N. Kerry, 
and from this celebrated stronghold he sent the 
dashing and gallant Sir Charles Wilmot to surprise 
Lixnaw. From there Wilmot rode with fifty horse 
to the castle of Sir Edward Denny in Tralee, which 
had been taken by the forces of the Sugane Earl of 
Desmond. Sir Charles defeated the Geraldine forces, 
who fled in disorder to the Slieve Mish Mountains, 
and then turned his attention to the relief of Liscahane 
Castle, which was bravely held by Walter Talbot. 
This warfare dragged on through the year 1600, 
and its fluctuations are rather difficult to follow. 

We read that the fortifications of Beale, then 
called Beaulieu, were destroyed by Patrick, Lord 
Kerry, who shortly afterwards died of grief at 
seeing Lixnaw in the possession of the English. 
Then we read that the Knight of Kerry was 
granted protection by Sir Charles Wilmot for his 
loyalty in refusing to allow the Sugane Earl into 
his castle at Dingle, and that his loyalty cost 
him dear and exposed him to annoyance from 
the followers of the Sugane Earl of Desmond. 
About the end of August 1600 Maurice Stack, 
a brave man who had assisted in the defence of 
Lischane, was invited to dine at the Castle of 
Beale or Beaulieu by the wife of the Lord 
Kerry, and was treacherously murdered by some 
officers with " skeins," and his body thrown 
from a high window into the courtyard. The 
brother of the Lady Kerry — the' Earl of 
Thomond — was so disgusted by this treacherous 
deed that he refused to see his sister again, and she 
shortly afterwards died. 

Soon after this a French ship, laden with wine, 
provisions, and ammunition, came to Dingle, and 

48 



HISTORY 

these commodities were sold to the rebels, whereof 
a complaint was made to the French king by 
the English Ambassador. Sir Charles Wilmot 
besieged Ardfort, and by constant pressure compelled 
the mock Earl of Desmond to leave the country. 
Florence MacCarthy, though he was under the 
protection of the English Government, continued 
to intrigue with the rebels, and in secret purchased 
arms and ammunition and solicited aid ; but at last, 
when his double dealing became known, a rival was 
set up in Daniel MacCarthy, who was allowed to 
bear the title of MacCarthy More, and was given 
the protection of the English. 

At the end of 1600 the revolt, as far as Kerry 
was concerned, was almost at an end. Lord Kerry 
and the Knight of Glin had been forced to fly ; 
Listowel Castle was the last stronghold in Kerry 
to hold out against Sir Charles Wilmot ; the mock 
Earl of Desmond had left the county of Kerry, 
and the reward of ^1000 for his capture soon 
tempted the '* White Knight'^ to deliver him over 
into the hands of his enemies. He was sent to the 
Tower to die in May 1601. Florence MacCarthy 
followed him there in June of the same year, 
and most of the inhabitants of Kerry had 
pardons out and were in a fair way to settle down. 
But in September 1601 a Spanish fleet with 5000 
men arrived in Kinsale. The inhabitants of Kerry 
remained quiet; but a second fleet arriving in Castle- 
haven was too much for them. All the pardoned 
people, including the Knight of Kerry, joined in 
revolt under O'Donnel, who came down S. from 
Ulster with the war-cry " O'Donnel Aboo." 
Carrigfoyle was betrayed to the Spaniards and 
the garrison slaughtered, and the English settlers 

D 49 



KERRY 

were again driven from their homes. The whole 
county of Kerry was up in arms once more. But 
it was all futile as ever. The Spaniards were 
defeated at Kinsale, and Sir Charles Wilmot was 
sent again to restore order in the Kingdom of 
Kerry. He besieged the castle of Lixnaw and ^ 
cut the garrison off from water, and eventually gotj 
possession of the place. Then he marched to * 
Castlemaine and relieved the garrison there, besieged 
by the rebels. Then he sent half his men into 
the Knight of Kerry's country with orders to 
plunder and drive in all the cattle as far as Dingle. 
With the remainder of his men he marched after 
this force and met the Knight of Kerry with about 
300 followers drawn up in a bog at Ballinahow, 
where the cavalry could not manoeuvre. Sir 
Charles Wilmot's horsemen dismounted and fought 
on foot, and after a stubborn fight the knight's 
men were defeated, and Sir Charles took and 
burnt the castles of Rahinane and Castlegregory. 
New orders were given to despoil the country 
once more — the fair land, well filled with corn, 
which was esteemed one of the best inhabited 
counties in Munster. The loyal inhabitants were 
deported, and the rebels left no means of sub- 
sistence ; thus throughout Iveragh and Desmond 
and Kerry proper the forces of Sir Charles Wilmot 
marched, as the forces of the "Black Earl'' had 
marched twenty years before, till at length all was 
reduced to order and the Knight of Kerry and 
Daniel MacCarthy More made their submission. 
In 1604 Sir Charles Wilmot had made a com- 
plete end of the rebellion, and from that date to 
1 64 1 there was little or no disturbance in Kerry. 
After all this record of fighting and turmoil it is 

50 



HISTORY 

pleasant to read that the Friary of Lough Leane, 
near Killarney, was repaired in 1604. In 
161 1 the town of Tralee received its Charter. 
In 1615 Lord Kerry made a humble submission 
to King James for the offence of himself and his 
father, and was pardoned, and his estates confirmed 
to him by letters patent. The FitzMaurices became 
ardent loyalists, so that when in 1641 Florence 
MacCarthy assumed the title of Governor of Kerry, 
and raised troops for the confederate Catholics, 
Warham St Leger, the President of Munster, 
appointed Lord Kerry governor of the county on 
behalf of the king. 

When the revolt broke out this Lord Kerry 
only got arms for 124 men, and made an un- 
fortunate selection of the officers for his forces — 
Pierce Ferriter of Castle Sybil, near Ballyferriter, 
Donagh Macgillycuddy, O'Donoghue of Glen- 
ilesk, MacEliigott of Bally MacElligott, and 
Walter Hussey of Castlegregory. All these men 
deserted to the side of the confederate Irish 
and assisted in harassing the English settlers. 
These English settlers were in sore straits in 1641. 
Castlemaine was taken by Daniel MacCarthy, 
and on the march of the confederate forces to 
Tralee, many of the gentry went off to join the 
Lord President St Leger, whilst others fortified 
their strong places and prepared to resist. 

Two names are prominent in the history of these 
times for gallant conduct. One Colonel David 
Crosbie, who held on to Ballingarry Fort for four 
years, and endured innumerable hardships and 
privations in his brave defence ; and the other 
Sir Thomas Harris, the defender of the castle 
of Tralee. He had been entrusted with the 

51 



KERRY 

keeping of this castle by Sir Edward Denny, 
and all the attempts of the confederates to 
seduce him from his allegiance proved unavailing. 
This investment of Tralee Castle was a sad 
episode. One hundred and five persons sought 
refuge within the walls, and though the garrison 
was short of ammunition and had to drink filthy 
water, the brave defenders held out for six months, 
till they were absolutely destitute of ammunition 
and provisions — then they surrendered, but not 
Sir Thomas Harris, who, worn out by anxiety 
and hardship, died before the capitulation. 
Then King Charles, who had sacrificed Straf- 
ford, made peace with the confederate Catholics, 
and the rebels of yesterday became the Royalists 
of to-day and joined the king's forces against 
Cromwell and the Parliament. 

In 1645 Joh° Baptiste Rinuncini, Archbishop 
of Fermo and legate of the Pope, arrived in 
Kenmare River. Admiral Blake was on his 
track and his frigate barely escaped capture, being 
chased by an English ship which failed to 
capture the foreigner owing, it is said, to 
the " cook room of the man-of-war taking fire." 
The Parliamentary General Ludlow marched to 
Kerry after the defeat of Lord Muskerry at 
Knocknichashky, in County Cork, and finding 
that the Irish General had established himself at 
Ross Castle near Killarney, one of the strongest 
fortresses in possession of the Irish, and was 
receiving food and supplies from the opposite 
force of Lough Leane, he made plans to dis- 
lodge him. He cut the garrison off from the 
mainland, and had boats sent round to Castle- 
maine and conveyed up the Laune River by hand. 

52 



HISTORY 

An old tradition said that Ross Castle would 
never be taken till ships s'lould " swim upon the 
lake." So when the first boat was seen the 
garrison offered to surrender on terms which took 
a fortnight to draw up. 

In the days of William III. and King James, 
the forces of the latter held Kerry till August 1 69 1 , 
and Tralee was again burnt on the approach of 
General Ginkel. Ginkel ordered Captains Navarre 
and O'Loughnane, who had ordered the burning, 
to be hanged. But their lives were saved by the 
intercession of Colonel Denny. An action near 
Lixnaw seems to have been the only fighting which 
took place in Kerry during the Revolution of 1688. 
After it was all over, there was the attainder 
of the adherents of King James, and amongst 
others the Lord Kenmare of the day lost his 
estates. They were, however, eventually restored, 
and Kerry settled down to the humdrum life of 
the 1 8th century. Its chivalrous and romantic 
history ended with the Stuarts. But somehow when 
travelling through the county it seems as if the 
life and spirit of the i6th century were nearer 
the heart of Kerry than any intervening period. 

Even yet are heard the tales of the Spaniards, 
of Fort Del Ore, and of the Armada, as though 
the events connected with them occurred yesterday. 
The '^ Earl of Desmond's pipers" are heard 
in the wailing of wintry gales, and old, half- 
ruined, forgotten churches, abbeys, and castles 
speak eloquently of the days when the great 
Queen Elizabeth broke the power of the feudal 
lords of the County Palatine of Kerry. 

It is a mistake to suppose that during the 
stirring days of the 1 6th and 17 th centuries there was 

S3 



KERRY 

absolute right on one side or the other, or that one 
side was more or less brutal in its methods, 
viewed in the light of modern ideas, than another. 
Deplorable events occurred which shock the 
modern reader ; but such were not confined to 
any one locality, country, or party. Wars were 
more savage then than now. But even in the 
midst of the cruelty and hardships there are to 
be found many bright instances of personal gene- 
rosity and kindness where the human element 
overshadows the horrors of war, and it is quite 
certain that a writer like Sir Walter Scott could 
find as good material for a chivalrous, high-spirited 
romance amidst the records of Kerry as ever Scot- 
land could afford. 

VIII. Ethnology and Local Names 

The county of Kerry, like the rest of Ireland, 
was originally inhabited by a race of Turanian 
origin, which gave way before various immigrant 
Celts from Britain and the West of Europe. The 
Milesians, being the strongest and most warhke, 
finally gave the general character to the people prior 
to the Norman invasion. A great many of the terri- 
torial names are tribe names, derived from kings and 
chiefs who held sway at various periods from some- 
where about 300 B.C. to the 9th century of our 
era. Professor Joyce points out that the words "dun,'' 
"rath," "hs," caher," "earn," and " cloon " are 
of pagan origin, and are at least as^ old as the com- 
mencement of the Christian era. The " Annals of 
the Four Masters " derive the name of the Slieve 
Mish Mountains near Tralee from *' Mis," the 
daughter of Muireadh the son of Caireadh, 

54 



ETHNOLOGY AND LOCAL NAMES 

A great deal of the early ethnological history of 
the county of Kerry is shrouded in mystery, but 
it may be safe to say that the Milesian Celts, having 
conquered the Firboigs and the Tuatha da Danaan, 
continued to prevail throughout the county till the 
Norman invasion. These Milesians probably from 
time to time received fresh immigrants from Western 
Europe, and particularly Spain, and the fusion 
between the Norman invaders and themselves came 
about quite naturally. This immigrant Hispano- 
Celtic and Norman population brought into being 
the finest population to be found in Ireland. 

The Danish incursions, which affected other 
parts of Ireland and England, do not appear to 
have left any lasting mark on the shores of Kerry. 
But since the Norman days many immigrants 
from England have mixed with the Milesian 
and Norman population, so that, whilst still 
retaining its particular characteristics, the eth- 
nology of Kerry has undergone imperceptible 
changes. 

When the early ecclesiastical period begins 
about the beginning of the 5th century, we are 
on firmer ground with regard to history, and St 
Brandon becomes a very real and living per- 
sonality. This great saint, born near Tralee in 
the year 484, was of the race of Ciar, a 
Milesian warrior who has left a memorial of him- 
self in the present names of the county of Kerry. 
St Brandon studied with St Jarlath of Tuam and 
St Finnian of Clonard, and during the course of his 
life visited Brittany, where he founded a monastery. 
He is also said to have been the first discoverer 
of America, but of this a mention will be found in 
Chapter IX. further on. 

55 



KERRY 

All the names of places, such as "kill/' 
"temple," "donagh," " Aglish," are of eccle- 
siastical origin, and usually connected with the name 
of some saint. These names are all said by Pro- 
fessor Joyce (whose book on "Irish Names and 
Places" is a classic) to have arisen from the 5th 
to the 8th and 9th centuries, and it is easy when 
going through the country and remembering this 
to approximately £x the dates of ruins and 
places. 

The process of name-forming went on through 
the 1 2th, 13th, and 14th centuries, and some names 
can be still found derived from English and Norman 
families who settled in the county from time to time 
down to the 17th century. As an instance of this 
the name " Killeentierna," meaning the " little 
church of the Earl" (of Desmond), may be quoted. 
Kerry, with its mixture of Milesian, of Spanish, 
Florentine (Geraldine), English, and even German 
blood, possesses perhaps the most attractive race to 
be found in Ireland, and a traveller cannot fail to 
be struck by the peculiar character of the people 
of Kerry. The grave, well-bred courtesy, the 
physical beauty of form and face, and the bold 
bearing speak of this fusion. The men of the 
coast-line, tall, stalwart sons of the sea, are a 
fine, hardy, brave race, who would make some 
of the best soldiers and sailors in the empire. 
The lines by the Irish poet Thomas Davis seem 
to be particularly applicable to this short notice of 
the ethnology of Kerry : — 

^'Here came the brown Phoenician, 
The man of trade and toil ; 
Here came the proud Milesian 
A hungering for spoil, 

56 



ANTIQUITIES 

And the Firbolg and the Cymry 
And the hard, enduring Dane, 

And the lion lords of Normandy, 
With the Saxons in their train. 

And oh, it were a gallant deed 

To show before mankind, 
How every race and every creed 

Might be by love combined. 
Might be combined, nor yet forget 

The fountains whence they rose, 
As swelled by many a rivulet 

The stately Shannon flows." 

The spirit of these lines is breathing throughout 
the land, and some day the desire expressed will be 
fully realised. 

IX. Antiquities 

The antiquities of the county of Kerry are per- 
haps as interesting as any to be found in Ireland. 
The stones, the buildings, and the names of various 
places form a book in which can be read, page by 
page, the history of the county. 

Ogham Stones. — To begin with, there are the 
^' Ogham Stones " with their primitive lettering 
decipherable by the learned, which can be seen in 
the cave of Dunloe near Killarney, and at Kilmal- 
chedar, Ballintaggart, Kinnard, Ballineesteenig, and 
many other places in the barony of Corkaguiny. 
There are over eighty of these inscribed stones in 
Kerry, and their origin and history has been the 
cause of much discussion amongst antiquarians. 

The Book of Ballymote, which is dated a.d. i 3 70, 
mentions these Ogham Stones, and from this book 
was taken the first key to the deciphering of the 
letters. The late Dr Graves, Bishop of Limerick, 

57 



KERRY 

tested this key by a system of mathematics in 
which recurring letters in a large number of 
words played a part, and he found it correct. 
According to the Book of Ballymote the name 
" Ogham " is derived from Ogma, son of Elatan, 
King of Ireland, the reason given for the Ogham 
writing being the desire of the learned to have a 
language different from that used by rustics. 

The Ogham Craobh or Tree Ogham is the one 
most commonly found in Ireland, and consists of a 
central line with shorter lines cut at right angles or 
diagonally across it. The meaning of each sign is 
determined by its being across or above or below 
the central line. In most "Ogham" monuments 
the corner of some square stone block forms the 
trunk, the letters being cut on both faces of the 
stone. The date of " Ogham " stones was pro- 
bably pre-Christian, but extended into the Christian 
period, as crosses are often found on the stones. 

Forts or Cahers. — The great stone forts or 
" cahers " found in Kerry are said to mark the 
highest point of the heroic ages and the dawn 
of the earliest Christian history in the county. 
The best examples of these " cahers " may be 
seen at " Staigue Fort," near Sneem, at Caher- 
daniel, between the village and the top of Cooma- 
kista Pass, at Cahergal near Cahirciveen, and at 
Dunbeg and Dunmore, meaning the " little " and 
the "great" fort respectively in the fascinating 
region to the W. of Dingle. 

Churches, — The early history of the Celtic 
Church is written plain and clear in the beehive 
cells and stone- roofed oratories which may be seen 
on Skellig Michael, at Gallerus, and all about the 
neighbourhood of Kilmalchedar, whilst the latter 

S8 



ANTIQUITIES 

period of that Church can be studied in the 
Romanesque architecture to be found in many 
a lonely little chapel and oratory throughout the 
county. The best examples of this Romanesque 
architecture can be seen in the ruined shrine on 
Church Island in Lough Currane near Waterville, 
at Innisfallen Island, and Aghadoe near Killarney, 
and at Kilmalchedar in the neighbourhood of 
Dingle. The round tower at Rattoo, in N. Kerry, 
belongs to this period, and may be said to date 
from the days of Charlemagne, when the continent 
of Europe affected, to a considerable extent, the 
trend of church architecture in this remote corner 
of Ireland. 

Connected with this early period of the Celtic 
Church are the holy wells and legend and historical 
records of the saints who moulded the age by 
their lives and examples. St Brandon, St Finan, 
St Crohane, St Malchedor are all tangible historical 
figures, round whom the mists of legends have 
gathered, but who, nevertheless, present a very real 
personality to all who tread in their footprints at 
the present time. And from the Celtic Church 
history it is easy to pass by gradual stages 
(with no very sharp dividing line) to the later 
history of the Church and the land — reading 
the story as we go along in the architecture. 
At Aghadoe are seen the crumbling walls of an 
old Anglo-Norman castle, probably one of the 
first built in Kerry. In Ardfert and Ballinskelligs 
are seen the Romanesque merging into the early 
pointed Gothic, the transition between what is some- 
times called the Norman and Early English style. 

Ahheys. — At Muckross and Ardfert Abbey the 
later 15th century architecture can be traced, not 

59 



KERRY 

indeed with the wealth of decoration which marks 
the period in France and England, but sufficiently 
clear to ^k approximately the date. Newer build- 
ings grew up side by side with, or became merged 
into, older ones, the site being retained, and the 
architecture becoming, in some cases, a kind of 
patchwork. Ireland went through so many storms 
in early days, and there were so many burnings and 
destroyings of existing buildings, that it can hardly 
be wondered at that there is not that uniformity 
which is so commonly met with in England. 

The old castles of Ross near Killarney, Bally- 
car bery near Cahirciveen, and Rahinane near 
Dingle, all date in their present ruined state to the 
Anglo-Norman period of history. They have 
been battered and burnt in the past, but enough 
still survives to tell a story — a story which ends 
with the days of Elizabeth in some cases, and 
with the Revolution of 1688 in others. The 
dim outlines of " Fort-del-Ore," so famous in the 
days of Elizabeth, are still to be seen, and people 
talk to this day of the doings of the soldiers under 
Lord Grey, and point out the place where the 
English batteries pounded the fort. 

When the Desmond wars, and the abortive 
rising under O'Neill and O'Donnel, had left 
Kerry comparatively desolate ; when the Mac- 
Carthys, the Geraldines, the O'Donoghues, 
Mahonys, and O'Sullivans had succumbed to 
the onward march of progress, and feudalism 
was no more, English families appeared in the 
county, — Dennys, Brownes, Blennerhassetts, 
Crosbies- — and taking up the forfeited lands or 
purchasing them, became the great landowners and 
squires of latter-day Kerry. Many of these families 

60 



ANTIQUITIES 

united, by marriage, the old Irish families with 
the newer English ones, to make their descendants 
" Hibernieis ipsis Hiberniores/' 

The houses and homes of these later English 
settlers took the place of the old castles and keeps 
of former times, and the continuity of history was un- 
broken. Perhaps the most interesting example of this 
continuity may be seen in the Franciscan Friary at 
Killarney. — Muckross is a ruin pleasing to the 
antiquary and artist ; Ardfert is a memory of past 
greatness ; but the same order of monks, the 
followers of the gentle St Francis of Assisi, 
still preach through Kerry, and pray the same 
prayers as they did when the first fair abbey was 
founded in 1440 on the "Rock of Song" at 
Muckross. 

In travelling with some slight knowledge of the 
general history of the county two periods will 
especially interest the traveller, viz.: — (i) That 
which extends from the first introduction of 
Christianity down to the time of the coming of 
the Normans, and (2) the age of Elizabeth, which 
saw the downfall of the great chiefs and ended 
feudalism. The hundred years, from 1602 to 1702, 
come next in point of interest. But the Elizabethan 
period is that which grips the imagination most 
forcibly. Visitors coming to Kerry would do 
well to get the two periods mentioned well into 
their minds, in which case a journey through the 
county will present attractions apart from the love- 
liness of the scenery and the kindly manners of the 
people. 



61 



KERRY 



X. Literary Associations 

The most important early historical documents 
dealing with the county of Kerry are the " Annals 
of Innisfallen." These Annals are supposed to 
deal with universal history from the creation of the 
world to the year a.d. 430 ; but after that date 
they refer to historical occurrences in a more re- 
stricted field. They were written in 121 5, and 
continued on to the year 1320 by monks who dwelt 
in the monastery on the island of Innisfallen. 

St Finan the Leper founded this religious house 
in the 6th century, and it long maintained a high 
reputation for learning and religion. Later, when 
the Celtic Church organisation and discipline was 
brought more under the central authority of Rome, 
the abbey passed to the Canons Regular of St 
Augustine. From the date when the '' Annals of 
Innisfallen" closed there does not appear to have 
been any literary association connected with the 
county of Kerry till we come to the days of 
Elizabeth. 

In 1580, Edmund Spenser, the poet, came to 
the county to take part in the Desmond wars, and 
possibly some of the inspiration which makes alive 
the pages of the '' Faery Queen " may have 
been gathered amidst the wild scenes in Kerry. 
Walter Raleigh, too, the county may claim as one 
of its literary celebrities. He wrote many pretty 
sonnets, and was in his latter years content with 
nothing less than a "History of the World." 
A mass of State papers during the reigns of 
Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., carry on the 
history of the county, and most of these may be 

62 



LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS 

read in a valuable literary magazine which flourished 
in the years 1854-55, and was called in the language 
of the times " The Kerry Magazine, a Journal of 
Polite Literature/' 

In comparatively recent years Kerry had its 
historian in Dr Charles Smith, who wrote a work 
called "The Ancient and Present State of the 
County Kerry." This work was published in 
A.D. 1774, and is now hard to obtain. But the 
picture the quaint doctor draws of Kerry is as 
pleasing as it is accurate in the main, and there is 
no book which gives in the short space of 420 
pages such a comprehensive account of the county. 
It is still the standard work for all who wish to 
hear the story of Kerry. Miss Mary Agnes 
Hickson's " Old Kerry Records " contains a 
wealth of charming history connected with the 
county. Miss Cusack must not be forgotten in 
enumerating the literary associations of the county 
of Kerry. It was at Ross Castle, Killarney, that 
Tennyson wrote those lines in the " Princess " : — 

'^The splendour falls on castle walls 

And snowy summits old in story ; 
The long light shakes across the lakes. 

And the wild cataract leaps in glory. 
Blow, bugle, blow ! set the wild echoes flying ; 

Blow, bugle I answer echoes, dying, dying, dying." 

Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, sang of " Sweet 
Innisfallen " in one of those pretty poems which 
live in people's memories. James Anthony Froude 
at one time lived at Derreen, and it was there he 
wrote the " Two Chiefs of Dunboy," a book 
which gives most truthfully the atmosphere of 
Kerry, even if it lacks accuracy in detail. The 
place where he sat in the open air, writing 

63 



KERRY 

through the long summer days, is still pointed out. 
On the whole, however, Kerry is not rich in 
literary associations. The county has produced 
no great poet and no great dramatic historian like 
Sir Walter Scott. There are materials enough to 
weave stories innumerable, and to one possessing 
the gift of interpretation and the power of turning 
into glowing romance all the mass of historic fact 
and legend, there is a prospect of endless variety. 
Some day such a genius will arise, and then Kerrj 
will speak as the Highlands of Scotland have 
spoken since the days of Sir Walter Scott. 



64 




BEE-HIVE CELLS OF IMONKS ON SKELLIG MICHAEL 



LAKES, PASSES, AND MOUNTAINS 



XI. Table of Lakes, Passes, and Mountains 
(i) Lakes 



Name. 


Height 

above 

the Sea. 


r; CO 


x; CO* 


District 

where 

situated. 


Lough Leane . 


66 ft. 


si 


3 


Killarney 


Middle or Muckross 










Lakes 


67 „ 


2 


i 


Killarney 


Upper Lake . 


70 ,, 


H 


i 


Killarney 


Lough Guitane 


256 „ 




... 


Killarney 


Cloonee Loughs 


93 .. 






Kenmare 


Lough Currane 


19 ^. 






Waterville 


Cloonaghlin Lough 


366 „ 






Waterville 


Derryana Lough 


381 „ 






Waterville 


Cloon Lough . 


293 .. 






Glencar 


Coomasahane Lough 


549 >: 






Caragh 


Caragh Lough 


57 „ 






Caragh 


Lough Gill . 


Sea level 






Castle- 


Lough Gal (White 








gregory 


Lake). 


359 ft. 






Dingle 


Lough Cruttia 


638 „ 






Dingle 


Lough Auscaul 


^59 '^ 






Dingle 



6s 



KERRY 






bo 




^ 



OiO 0) 



o 



M 



H 






3 



^4J +J* 

K^ ON o ^* 

? M flj 



o 



(U o; 

"So 

p O M 

O ti 

3 S 



c 

5 



ti^ t^ 









^ <-l-l ^ «-M 

mj oo o vo 



pq 
66 



P ON 
O ON 



pq 



"3 ♦J 

^ 8 

S oo 

o 
o 
U 



c 
c 
o 
O 



LAKES, PASSES, AND MOUNTAINS 





Tl 




(U 






</3 


rt 


Z 


B 


< 


CO 


H 








o 


-C 



s > 



1 


Bautregaum, 

2796 ft. 
Caherconree, 

2713 ft. 
Gearhane, 2423 ft. 
Glenbrack, 

2169 ft. 
Knockmoyle, 

1 40 1 ft. 
Knockawaddra, 

1 1 25 ft. 
Caherbla, 1926 ft. 
Knockbrack, 

1308 ft. 
Knight's Moun- 
tain, 1097 ft. 
Mount Eagle, 

1417 ft. 
Knockfelin, 

1391 ft. 


j5 
c 
3 


Brandon Moun- 

tain, 3127 ft. 
Brandon Peak, 

2764 ft. 
Knockabreestaj 

2509 ft. 
Gearhane, 2050 ft. 
Mount Eagle, 

1695 ft. 
Marhin, 1351 ft. 
Ballysitteragh, 

2050 ft. 
Slievanea, 2026 ft. 
Listorgan, 

2001 ft. 
Knockmulanane, 

_ 1953 ft- 
Benoskee, 2713 ft. 
Beenaconroe, 
1033 ft. 


13 
bJO C 


Carrantuohill, 

3414 ft. 
Beenkeragh, 

3314 ft- 
Brassel Mountain, 

1888 ft. 
Caher, 3200 ft. 
Colly Mountain, 

2238 ft. 
Macklaun, 1998 ft. 
Beenreagh, 

1628 ft. 
Coolroe, 1361 ft. 
Seefin, 1621 ft. 
Skregbeg, 1883 ft. 




Tullig, 1220 ft. 
Mullaghbeg, 

1678 ft. 
Knockaline, 

22 1 1 ft. 
Bolas, 1330 ft. 
Kilkeaveragh, 

1222 ft. 
Knocknatober, 

2267 ft. 
Caunoge, 1632 ft. 
Bentee, 1245 ft. 
Drung Hill, 

2104 ft. 
Been Hill, 2199 ft- 
Mullaghnacaicill, 

2185 ft. 
Coomacarrea, 

2541 ft. 


c 

Sc/2 
o 


Peakeen, 1825 ft. 
Boughil, 2065 ft. 
Knockabreeda, 

181 1 ft. 
Cloomageerbehy, 

1671 ft. 
Knockboy, 

2321 ft. 
Knockowen, 

2169 ft- 
Knocklomana, 

2097 ft. 
Mullaghanattin, 
^ 2539 ft. 
Beoun, 2468 ft. 
Knocknagantee, 

2219 ft. 
Coomcallee, 

2134 ft. 


M 

3 


Mangerton, 

2756 ft. 
Tore, 1764 ft. 
Toomies, 2413 ft. 
Purple Moun- 
tain, 2739 ft. 
Crohane, 2102 ft. 
Stoompa, 2281 ft. 
The Paps, 2268 ft. 
Eagle's Nest, 

1 100 ft. 
Looscaunagh, 

1280 ft. 
Sheehy Moun- 
tain, 1820 ft. 



67 



CHAPTER I 



KILLARNEY 



I. Approaches. There are four ways of ap- 
proaching Killarney, viz., ( i ) by the Great 
Southern and Western Railway direct from Dublin ; 
(2) by what is called the " Prince ■ of Wales" 
route from Cork, by the Cork and Bandon Rail- 
way as far as Bantry, and on by coach over the 
hills to Kenmare, and thence either by coach road 
over the Dunkerron Mountains, or by rail, which 
meets the main line at Headford ; ( 3 ) by the 
Great Southern and Western Railway, 'via Limerick, 
Listowel, and Tralee ; and (4) by the route recently 
opened via Fishguard and Rinlares, and thence by 
Waterford, Lismore, Fermoy, and Mallow. This 
latter route would be more suitable for travellers 
wishing to see the wild district of Dingle 
first of all, and would hardly be convenient for 
those who wish to come to Killarney for a few 
days only. I shall therefore, when dealing with 
Killarney, confine my description of the approaches 
to the first two routes. 

I . To Killarney by rail direct from Dublin, via 
Mallow, From Mallow a single line of rail runs 
through an undulating country watered by various 
streams, affluents of the Blackwater, past the roadside 
stations of Lombardstown, Banteer, and Mill- 

68 



KILLARNEY 

street, all in County Cork. There is nothing very- 
interesting in the scenery, though a foretaste of 
what is to come is obtained by the views of the 
heathery hills on the left of the line of railway. 
After passing Millstreet, however, the traveller 
may look about and get a first glimpse of Kerry in 
'^the Paps" Mountains (2268 ft.), which rise dim 
over the brown bog land round a shoulder of the 
Millstreet Hills, which are parallel to the line. 
The two conical peaks cannot be mistaken. On 
the R. of the Hne is a long stretch of flat bog 
and pasture land rising to low, blue, far-off hills, 
and studded with little holdings. Farther on, 
when " the Paps " are passed, the dark mass of 
Mangerton (2756 ft.) and Tore (1764 ft.) are 
seen, and beyond them the Toomies (2413 ft.). 
Nearing Rathmore the Blackwater almost touches 
the line of railway on the R., spanned by a good 
stone bridge, over which a road leads northwards. 
After passing this landmark the tourist is in the 
'' Kingdom of Kerry." 

Rathmore — the " great fort," as its Irish name 
implies — is a small village consisting of a few 
well-built stone houses, a police barrack, a Petty 
Sessions Court, and the usual number of public- 
houses, out of all proportion to the population. 
Beyond the village — about a mile to the W. — 
is a well-built church, with a convent of the 
Order of Presentation nuns. This can be seen 
on the hill to the left of the railway. A school 
is there, also kept by the good sisters, which must 
be of inestimable benefit to the neighbourhood. 
All the way from Mallow the line of railway has 
been gradually ascending, for the country passed 
through is the watershed of the Blackwater, and 

69 



KERRY 

all the streams and rivulets are but tributaries 
of that great river. When, however, the summit 
of the watershed is reached, some four miles W. 
of Rathmore, the line swings S. and turns 
towards the hills, and the watershed of the rivers 
flowing into the Lakes of Killarney, and thence 
westwards to the sea in Dingle Bay, is entered. 
It will be noticed that the rivers are now flow- 
ing W. and S., whereas up to this they have 
been flowing N. and E. To the right are low 
stony hills covered with gorse and heather, and 
amongst them coarse rocky fields, with a bit of 
tillage here and there. Further on some Scots 
firs cut the sky-line, and contrast with the red 
bog and far-distant low blue hills, and then 
is seen the little village of Barraduff, and the 
rising ground over the Ouneencree River, which 
is here spanned by an ivy»-clad bridge. On the left 
of the line as the train rushes over the viaduct 
which spans the Ouneencree a bit of wild ragged 
mountain land is seen, a stony region where the 
white- washed cottages shelter at the foot of the 
cliffs. A foreground of dark firs and deciduous trees 
and a green flat expanse of pasture land fronts these 
hills and marks the approach to Headford Station. 
At Headford a branch line runs to Kenmare 
round the shoulder of the southern hills and through 
Glenflesk, of which more will be said further on 
in this Guide. The mountain rising in graceful 
lines right opposite Headford Station is Crohane 
(2102 ft.), at the base of which runs the carriage 
road from Killarney to Kenmare and Macroom. 
The flat mountain W. of Crohane is Stoompa, 
the highest point of which is 2281 ft. The 
great massive form of Mangerton (2756 ft.) is 

70 



KILLARNEY 

seen beyond that, and standing out boldly from this 
point is Tore (1764 ft.). Between Headford and 
Killarney the scenery on the right of the line is 
still of much the same character, gorse, heather, bog, 
and pasture, with the ever-present cottage holdings. 

But as the train moves on the scenery on the 
left opens out into more and more beautiful views. 
Little streams fringed with osmunda ferns flow by 
thickets of silver birch and holly to join the Flesk 
River. A glimpse of Killaha Castle at the foot of 
Crohane is obtained as the train passes the five-arch 
bridge over the Flesk, and the mountains seem to 
unfold their beauties. Keppoch Glen between 
Crohane and Stoompa opens out, and the deep 
dark entrance to " Gloun Na Coppal " (Glen of 
the Horses) is seen between Stoompa and the 
mighty shoulder of Mangerton. Now comes a 
wide sweep of the silver Flesk river, backed by 
the dark mass of firs in Pouldecka Wood, and 
beyond that the wilderness of the mountains of 
Dunkerron, Glena, and the Toomies. The river 
is lost again, but beyond the stony furze-crowned 
land rises the Loretto Convent on a tree-crowned 
hill. Now another wild bit of river scenery and an 
oak wood ; a high wooded hill with Flesk Castle 
on top ; and far to the W. the distant points of 
Killarney House and a white pinnacle of the church. 
One more bit of exquisite river scenery beyond 
that and the train enters a cutting, and nothing more 
is seen till the traveller arrives at Killarney Station. 

2. To Killarney via Cork, Glengariffe, and 
Kenmare, From Glengariffe, which is in County 
Cork, the road leads uphill to "The Tunnel," which 
is on the boundary line between Cork and Kerry. 
From this point the road bends down a pretty 

71 



<( 



KERRY 

wooded valley and along the banks of the Sheen 
River to Kenmare. On the right are seen the 
** Priest's Leap" and Knock-Boy Mountains. 
A change of horses gives time for luncheon in 
Kenmare, and also an opportuuity for inspecting 
the Convent work. From Kenmare the road 
leads for some six miles of gradual ascent to the 

Windy Gap. "On the right of the road is seen 
Peakeen Mountains (1825 ft.), whilst Boughal 
(2065 ft.) presents a rain-seamed side on the left. 
At the Windy Gap a lovely prospect opens. 
In front are Knockabreeda, ComeendufF, and 
Brassel Mountains, with the Reeks and the Purple 
Mountain (2739 ft.) beyond the first ridge. 
Beneath lies the peaceful wooded vale where the 
Owenreagh, meaning the '^ Grey River," runs on 
to join the Geerameen. A mile further on Loose- 
caunagh Lake is seen to the right, and after passing 
this the whole of the Upper Lake and *' Long 
Range " are seen. No more need be said of this 
approach, save that one scene more beautiful than 
another (if possible) is met with till the walls 
of Muckross Park shut in the road near Tore 
Cascade. 

II. Killarney. Killarney (Cill Arne, in Celtic, 
means the Church of the Sloes) is an irregularly built 
town containing a population of some 6000 people. 
It lies low in a hollow a little above the level of the 
lake, and is consequently not a very bracing place. 
But the fresh winds from the mountains counteract 
the effects of the dampness, and the town, taking it 
as a whole, is very healthy. Two long streets 
— Main Street, which runs roughly S. and 
N., and New Street, which branches off from 
Main Street, S.W. — are the main thoroughfares 

72 



KILLARNEY 

from which the numerous lanes branch off. At 
first sight the general appearance of the town 
is not impressive. Many years ago an ancestor of 
the present Earl of Kenmare gave a lease for ever 
to all and every one who would build a house, and 
this accounts to some extent for the irregularity and 
the want of much that is considered desirable in a 
modern town. But, leaving aside the general de- 
scription of Killarney town, which is really a matter 
of little importance to passing visitors, who are 
accommodated as comfortably as possible in many 
hotels in and outside the urban boundary, let us 
consider the places of interest and see what there is 
to be seen. "^ 

( I ) Driving or walking down to the end of 
New Street opposite the main gate lodge of Kil- 
larney House stands the Cathedral in a wide-open 
space, flanked by the Presentation Convent, the 
palace of the Bishop, and the Schools and Chapel 
of the Christian Brothers. Built of white lime- 
stone, of the Early English style of architecture, 
this Cathedral is one of the most beautiful works 
of the late Mr Pugin. Begun in 1846, it was 
finished in 1856. The more you look at this 
Cathedral the more you are struck by the exceed- 
ingly good taste in which everything pertaining to 
it is carried out. People say it is some twenty or 
thirty feet too short. Be that as it may, the fact 
does not strike the ordinary observer, and the whole 
scheme of the church appears quite in harmony. 
Inside, the building is equally graceful and digni- 
fied. The beautiful window of the N. transept, 
where the Bishops of Kerry lie buried, was put up 
by the late Earl of Kenmare as a thankoffering for 
the recovery of his daughter. Visitors who have 

73 



KERRY 

an opportunity should hear the organ, which sounds 
very grand in the chaste and somewhat severe 
Gothic interior of this beautiful church. 

(2) Attached to the Presentation Convent is a 
school of lace and needlework, specimens of which 
can be seen on application. 

(3) Almost opposite the gate of the Presenta- 
tion Convent is the *' Castlerosse School of In- 
dustry," which comprises a school for wood-carving 
and also a school of domestic economy. The carv- 
ing school was started in the year 1894 by Lady 
Castlerosse. Continuing our walk through the 
grounds of the Cathedral and past the palace of the 
Bishop of Kerry, we come to a road fringed by 
lime trees, and turning to the R. about two hundred 
yards or so we see on the L. the Convent of the 
Sisters of Mercy, where also is a school for girls. 
Again turning to the R., we enter the town 
by the N. W. end of the Main Street, and 
passing the small, unpretentious, red brick Town 
Hall, built in i860 by the Earl of Kenmare for 
the benefit of the town, we come to the Protestant 
Episcopal Church on the left-hand side, opposite 
the Munster and Leinster Bank. This church, 
with its graceful white spire, is of quite modern 
architecture. It contains a fine organ, good stained- 
glass windows, memorials to various members of the 
family of Herbert of Cahirnane, and also a tablet 
to the memory of the wife of an officer (Captain 
Turner) who died at Ross Castle in 1825, and of 
whom it is said on the tablet she was " all that is 
aimable [sic) in Woman." But of old monuments, 
tombstones, or records the church is destitute — 
being a comparatively new edifice. Visitors will 
not remain long in the town of Killarney when the 

74 



KILLARNEY 

country beyond its boundaries is so tempting, and 
it is unnecessary to say anything more on the 
subject here. 

(4) Opposite the gates of the Cathedral is the 
main entrance gate of Killarney Demesne. Visitors 
are allowed to see the grounds and gardens and to 
enjoy the view from the terrace on application at 
this gate. This view is perhaps the most beautiful 
of the many around Killarney. Below the house 
and gardens lies the park, stretching away to 
Ross Castle and the islet-studded Lough Leane. 
Beyond the lake the far-distant mountains of 
Dunkerron are seen to the S., and nearer Eagle's 
Nest, Glena, and Toomies, with their lower slopes 
clothed with wood, and their summits clear-cut 
against the sky. Looking W. are to be seen the 
highest mountains in Ireland, Carrantuohill and 
its sister peak Beenkeragh. Eastwards, Tore, 
Mangerton, and the peak of Crohane form the 
background to the garden. Killarney House 
is a modern Elizabethan building, begun in 
1875, ^"^ finished in the year 1881. The old 
house stood down on the flat land close to the 
town, near where the stables are situated at 
present. A more beautiful site than that occu- 
pied by the present house it would be hard to 
imagine, and impossible to find. Every natural 
feature has been taken advantage of to make 
the gardens interesting and attractive. Terrace 
leads to terrace, garden to garden, each with its 
wealth of flowers and shrubs too numerous to 
mention, till the roses and azalias seem to merge 
and lose themselves in the surrounding woods. 
Here and there openings have been judiciously cut 
which afford glimpses of the lake and islets, whilst 

75 



KERRY 

behind the ** Dairy " garden a fountain in a charm- 
ing dell, shadowed by trees, forms a foreground 
to a view of the W. end of the lake and far-off hills. 
As a background to the pictures which meet the 
visitor at every point are the glorious mountains, 
with their ever-changing colours and various shapes. 
It is a prospect to dream of, and is never forgotten. 
And this home amidst these beautiful surroundings 
is worthy of those who created it, and of the 
family which has deserved well of its country 
since the days of Queen Elizabeth, in acting up 
to the motto " Loyal en Tout " which circles the 
tower. 

Clough-na-Cuddy . Not far from the "Dairy," 
which is the western object of interest and beauty 
in the grounds of Killarney House, is the stone of 
"Cuddy." The legend has it that one Father 
Cuddy, a monk of Innisfallen, went once upon a 
time to pray in the woods. He prayed so long 
and so earnestly that presently he fell asleep, and re- 
mained in a state of forgetfulness for full 200 years. 
His knees wore the two round holes in the rock 
which now contain water with medicinal properties, 
to judge from the number of people who tie their 
small memory tokens to the " rag tree " overhanging 
the stone. The story of F ather Cuddy is rather similar 
to that of Rip Van Winkle. Coming back to the 
world after 200 years of sleep, he found all changed 
in the monastery of Innisfallen, and also heard the 
story of one of the monks who 200 years before 
had gone one fine morning to pray in the woods 
and had never returned. 

Ross Castle, One of the most celebrated places 
to be seen in the neighbourhood of Killarney is the 
grey old tower standing on the edge of the lake, i^ 

76 



KILLARNEY 

m. distant from the town. The background of 
mountains and the woods which come close up to 
its walls make it a conspicuous object from almost 
every point of view, and it is difficult to say from 
what point it presents its most attractive appearance. 
The building probably dates from the close of 
the 14th century, and it was originally the strong 
fortress of O'Donoghue Ross, who must not be 
confounded with O'Donoghue More, the great 
chief of the sept of O'Donoghue. Many legends 
cling to the name of this ancient possessor of Ross 
Castle, and amongst them is that which tells 
of the foundation of a city beneath the waters 
of the lake in the land which was called " Tir- 
nan-Oge" or the <* Land of Perpetual Youth." 
From the Land of Perpetual Youth O'Donoghue 
is said to revisit the upper world once in seven 
years, on a morning in May, and mounting his 
white horse, which for seven years has remained a 
solitary and immovable rock, he rides over the 
waters of the great Lough Leane. Luck is 
believed to attend the person who sees the great 
chieftain on these rare occasions. Far up on 
the bare side of the Toomies Mountains lies a little 
patch of green amidst the brown heather. There 
the snow lingers longest in springtime, and legend 
says that <'Parkeen Na Coppal bawn," or the "Field 
of the White Horse" (as the green spot is called), 
is the grazing ground of O'Donoghue's steed. 
The lone rock standing out between the castle 
and Innisfallen Island is '* O'Donoghue's Prison," 
where captives were chained to iron weights. A 
splash of water from the crest of a broken wave is 
O'Donoghue's blessing. So legend on legend keeps 
green the memory of the founder of Ross Castle. 

77 



KERRY 

The O'Donoghues were a minor sept or clan 
under the great chief MacCarthy More, and when 
the Desmond wars, in the days of Queen Elizabeth, 
had brought disaster to the Geraldine and Mac- 
Carthy More chieftains, Sir Valentine Browne 
obtained Ross Castle as part of the forfeited land 
of the Earl of Glencar (MacCarthy More). 
This was in 1588, and since that date the old 
castle has remained in possession of Sir Valentine's 
successors. On July 5th, 1652, Lord Broghil 
defeated the Irish forces under Lord Muskerry at 
the Battle of Knocknicklaskey in County Cork. 
It was a disastrous fight, in which Major Mac- 
Fineen MacCarthy was slain and Colonel MacGilly- 
cuddy was taken prisoner, and the only thing for 
Lord Muskerry to do was to retire to some strong 
fortress. Ross Castle at that time was the redoubt- 
able place in Munster, on three sides surrounded by 
the lake, and on the fourth side defended by a deep 
ditch extending from Castlelough Bay to the Bay 
of Ross. Lord Muskerry was the guardian of 
the young Sir Valentine Browne, and possibly 
this fact weighed with him in choosing Ross 
Castle as a place for retreat. General Ludlow, 
Cromwell's trusted leader, followed, however, with 
4000 foot and 200 horse, and made arrangements 
for the reduction of this important stronghold. 
Ludlow, hearing that the garrison was supplied 
with provisions from the opposite shore of the lake, 
detached a force to clear the woods, and fortifying 
the neck of land opposite the N. end of the castle, 
he isolated the garrison. But there was a tradition 
amongst the people of Kerry that Ross Castle 
would never be taken till " ships should swim 
on the lake." And so, in the lines of " Lake 

78 



KILLARNEY 

Lore," from the Kerry Magazine ^ they held 
out; — 

" And closer while the Leaguer grows, 
Winding round Ross by wood and brake, 
The pent-up garrison repose 
On tlie charmed spell which guards their Lake." 

Ludlow, however, was a General full of resource, 
and he devised the plan of sending large boats 
round the coast from Kenmare to the mouth of the 
river Laune. These boats were dragged up the 
river, and one, being quickly fitted out, proceeded 
to reconnoitre the castle from the waterside. 
This was enough to discourage the garrison. 
The prophecy was fulfilled — resistance would be 
vain ! Commissioners were appointed to treat, and, 
after a fortnight's parley, conditions were drawn 
up and agreed to by both sides, and the garrison 
surrendered. 

Koss Island, From Ross Castle a beautiful 
walk or drive may be taken round Ross Island 
where the arbutus grows luxuriantly. The copper- 
mines, the old workings of which are still to be 
seen on this island, were opened in 1804, and 
the work was continued for about four years, till 
the influx of water stopped all further operations. 
The drive or cycle ride round Ross Island shows 
view on view of Lough Leane, each one dif- 
ferent from another. For the first part of the route 
Castle Lough Bay opens out, backed by the 
outline of hills, the Paps, Stoompa, Mangerton, 
and Tore, and the wooded shores of Muckross. 
Islands stud this bay. Elephant Rock, Cow Island, 
Friar's Islet, Holm Island, and the " Hen and 
Chickens " Rocks. On reaching the copper- 
mines, a fine expanse of water lies in front of the 

79 



KERRY 

forest hills of the Long Range, and the Eagle's 
Nest rises up beyond the woods of Dinas Island. 
Glena Bay with the cottage in the depths of the 
woods, which extend up the mountain side, lies still 
and calm, sheltered by the steep side of Glena and 
Sheehy Mountain. A little farther on the fine 
outline of the Toomies Mountain is seen across the 
lake. Continuing on through the pine woods to the 
point of Ross Island, a view is obtained of Innis- 
fallen and the low northern and eastern shores 
of the lake, with the faint blue hills of the Dingle 
Peninsula in the far distance. 

Innisfallen Island, A short distance by water 
from the quay at Ross Castle lies the island of 
Innisfallen — celebrated not only for its scenery 
and its sweet-sounding name, but still more for the 
interest which attaches to the ruined monastery and 
oratory which perpetuates the memory of St Finan. 
The monastic buildings consist of a church with 
two narrow east-end windows of probably loth 
century architecture, remains of a refectory, faint 
traces of cloisters, the Abbot's house, and other 
conventual buildings, built in somewhat irregular 
form. The foundations of the miniature cloister can 
be traced in the grass on the N. side of the church. 
Inside the church, slabs graven with the Latin and 
Celtic crosses mark the graves of forgotten members 
of the community. But perhaps more interesting 
than the conventual ruins is the little Romanesque 
oratory which stands on a craggy point over 
the lake, a few yards from the main buildings. 
This little edifice, built of the most massive 
masonry, has a round arched- Romanesque W. 
doorway, where the decoration is singularly perfect. 
The small E. window looks out over the lake to- 

80 



KILLARNEY 

wards Ross Castle. This oratory is of about the 
same date as the old church at Aghadoe, though 
in all probability an older foundation existed here 
prior to the Romanesque period of architecture. 
A walk round Innisfallen Island affords the most 
pleasing succession of views of Lough Leane to be 
found in the whole neighbourhood of Killarney. 
A flat upright slab of limestone at the extreme 
W. end of the island goes by the name of the 
" bed of honour/' and is one of the sights recom- 
mended to tourists visiting Killarney. From this 
point Brown Island can be seen to the W., and the 
low shores of the lake from Lake View House and 
on by Mahony's Point backed by the woods of 
Aghadoe. The name Innisfallen is said to be 
*' Inis-Faithlenn," island of Faithlenn — a man's 
name, according to Dr Joyce. Its formation 
is limestone, and on it grow some of the largest 
hollies and ash trees to be found in the district. 

Innisfallen in the yth century was an abode of 
religion and learning. The Venerable Bede men- 
tions it in his "Church History," and gives a pleasing 
picture of the generous hospitality of the monks in 
the days when St Finan and Coleman were bishops. 
He tells how men of high rank amongst the English 
left their native land and retired to this island for 
religious instruction, and how the monks received 
them willingly and maintained them free of expense. 
It is with the name of St Finan Lothar or the 
Leper that Innisfallen is chiefly connected. 
He was a son of the King of Munster, and 
a disciple of St Brandon, and the following 
is a beautiful legend as to the manner in 
which he obtained his name, the " Leper " : — 
The saint of Innisfallen possessed a marvellous 



KERRY 

power of healing all manner of diseases, and the 
poor afflicted people from all parts flocked to him 
to heal them. Amongst those who came on one 
occasion was a lady leading a small boy. The 
lady was the wife of a neighbouring chieftain, and 
the boy, her son, was a leper. St Finan, 
when appealed to, gave no reply, but told the 
lady to come on the morrow and he would 
tell her whether he could heal her son. 
Then he dreamed, or the angels told him, that 
the only way he could cure the child was by taking 
to himself the leprosy. Then he saw in a vision 
the multitudes flocking to the island, and he himself 
stricken with a living death by this loathsome 
disease. So on the morrow when the lady came 
he told her of his dream and of the consequences 
which would follow his healing her son. And 
she, having compassion, chose rather that her 
own son should continue in his affliction than that 
the healer of the multitudes should be stricken. 
But not so St Finan. He saw the way clear 
before him — the way of the Cross — and he healed 
the child, but the leprosy clung to the healer to the 
day of his death. 

Killarney and Aghadoe. The road which 
leads out from Killarney past the Convent of Mercy 
on the L., and on past the Poor House, crosses the 
little Deena stream i m. from the town. From 
there the road rises gradually to meet a cross-road 
to the L. hand. At the top of the rise a road runs 
W., and following this for i m., the church and old 
remains of the round tower of Aghadoe come in 
sight. The view over the lakes from this point 
is wonderfully fine, and is well worth seeing 
at any time of day and at any season of the year. 

82 



KILLARNEY 

No more beautiful site for a church could have 
been found than that occupied by the ruined shrine 
of which so little is known. 

The first mention of a church at Aghadoe, " The 
Field of Two Yews," is in the annals of Innis- 
fallen, where in the year 992 it is related that 
" Maelsuthain hua Cerbaill, Chief Sage of Ireland, 
rested in Christ AB Achud-deo." The round 
arched doorway, with the " dog tooth " decoration, 
here, as in InnisfalJen and many other parts of Kerry, 
does not necessarily point to the Anglo-Norman 
period. A Romanesque wave spread direct from 
Normandy to Ireland, and affected Irish archi- 
tecture long before the coming of Henry II. and 
his followers, and it seems to have been con- 
temporaneous with what is called the Saxon 
architecture found in various parts of England. 
The small tower lower down the hillside from 
the church of Aghadoe is said to be the ruin of 
one of the first towers built by the Anglo-Norman 
settlers in Ireland. Only a small part of the 
round tower attached to the church of Aghadoe 
remains. But this small part shows a fine ex- 
ample of the massive stone work of the period. 
After inspecting these interesting ruins the return 
to Killarney may be made either by road round by 
Aghadoe House, and so back through the Western 
Park to Killarney (4 m.), or by the old bye-road 
which leads down the hillside and meets the main 
road a mile to the W. of the town (2 m.). 

Killarney to Muckross, A short 3 m. E. 
from Killarney by the shady road, which leads 
over the Flesk River, and on by Cahirnane and the 
Lake Hotel, the gates of Muckross Park are seen 
on the right. Visitors cannot fail to be struck 

83 



KERRY 

with the broad expanse of lake which lies before 
them, unbroken, save for an islet or two, to the 
base of the mountains. A limestone drive leads 
from the main entrance to a bridge (^ m.), crossing 
a clear stream, and immediately on passing this 
place a grassy avenue, between moss and fern-clad 
elms, meets the view. A little farther on the grey 
tower of Muckross Abbey rises out against the 
purple hills. 

Muckross Abbey, This abbey was founded in 
1440 by Donal MacCarthy More for Franciscan 
monks. The old legend connected with the 
founding tells how the chieftain was exhorted in 
a vision to build an abbey at " Carraig Na Ceol,'' 
or the " Rock of Song," and how, sending his 
followers for many a day in fruitless search for this 
rock of song, they had well-nigh abandoned the 
hope of finding the spot, when a little maiden bear- 
ing a pitcher and singing an old Irish lament met 
the searchers at the place where Muckross now 
stands, and how they went with great rejoicing to tell 
the chieftain they had found the " Rock of Song." 
The legend is a pretty one but possibly void of 
foundation, for some annals tell of an abbey stand- 
ing at this place prior to 1440, and an inspection of 
the existing buildings will probably bear out the 
theory that part at any rate of the abbey shows 
traces of having been built at different periods. 
The church itself is of the Late Decorated period 
of architecture, for though exceedingly plain 
and simple in detail, the doorways and windows 
show traces of the influence of later Gothic. 
The cuttings are deep, and the heads of 
some of the windows show the ogee arch with 
rectangular overhanging ledge. The piscina 

84 



KILLARNEY 

and sedilia are also of this Later Decorated 
period. 

When the cloisters are observed it will be seen 
that two adjacent sides are of the round or Norman 
arch, whilst the other two sides have the pointed 
Gothic arch. This is curious and noteworthy. 
Many of the windows in the building attached to 
the church have the round head. Those on the 
E. side of the refectory and dormitory have plain 
square heads, whilst the pointed Early Gothic 
windows appear again on the N. side of the build- 
ings. These small points may go to show that two 
or three different kinds of architecture of different 
periods are found in the present group of buildings 
attached to the Abbey Church. The monastery was 
occupied up to 1 589, but the monks were then driven 
out. The abbey was restored and the monks re- 
entered into possession in 1602, and apparently 
all went well with them to 1629, when again 
they were obliged to leave their home. In 
1 64 1 they again returned and occupied the 
abbey for a few years, but eventually had to 
leave for good when General Ludlow and the 
Parliamentary army occupied Kerry. The length 
of the church is 100 ft. and its breadth 
24 ft. The buildings are now well cared for. 
Tombs where the ivy-leaved toad-ilax and 
hart's-tongue ferns grow fill the interior, and 
wallflowers cling to the ledges of the windows. 
The cloisters are small and somewhat dark, and 
the constant drip of water on the limestone capitals 
of the pillars has encrusted them with stalagmites. 
The gloom of these cloisters is increased by the 
spreading yew, which forms a green canopy and 
almost shuts out the sky. There are few places 

8s 



KERRY 

where silence broods so strangely as in Muckross 
Abbey, with its mouldering and forgotten tomb- 
stones, few of which can now be read. The old 
quaintly lettered slabs on the N. wall of the 
chancel run as follow : — 

'* Orate pro felice statu fris Thade Holeni qui 
hunc sacrum Conventum de novo reparare curavit 
Anno Domini Millesimo Sexcentisimo Vigesimo 
Sexto." 

Near this is another in raised letters : — 

"Orate pro Donaldo M'Finen ET Elizabeth 
Stephenson O.S.H.E.F." 

The date of this is 1631. 

The first of these tablets refers to Father Holen, 
who in 1602 returned to the abbey and restored it. 
The restoration was probably not complete till 1 604, 
as an old record says that the *' Friary of Lough- 
leane'^ was repaired at that time — 1604. 

The final destruction of this abbey came in 
1652. After the Desmond rebellion the lands 
of the abbey as well as of Innisfallen were 
given to a Captain Collam. They came into 
the possession of the Herbert family through a 
marriage with the heiress of the MacCarthy More. 
Muckross Abbey and the house and park were 
purchased by Lord Ardilaun in the year 1899. 
The celebrated MacCarthy More — he who was 
taken prisoner and bound over to keep the 
peace by the Lord-Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, 
and who was afterwards created Earl of Glencar 
by Elizabeth — lies buried in Muckross Abbey. 
There are also tombs of the O'Donoghues of 
the Glens to be seen there. 

Leaving Muckross Abbey, a road passes through 
a gate and goes- along a drive rich with St John's- 

86 



KILLARNEY 

wort, yews, and a variety of trees, at times running 
close to the lake, to a second gate. Muck- 
ross House is now seen standing almost under 
Mangerton Mountain, whose base is here thickly 
clothed with larch and Scots firs. Continuing 
the drive or ride, and passing through another 
gate near the old '' Glebe House," " West 
Muckross " is entered, which extends as a long 
wooded peninsula to Dinish or Dinas Island. 
Dinish means "black" in Irish. The yew 
trees and ferns are ever with the traveller, 
save when an open glade of grass appears with 
tall ashes on the right, or a glimpse of the 
Middle Lake is obtained on the left, with grace- 
ful silver birches overhanging ledges of rock. 
Exceedingly fine views are obtained here and 
there of Tore Mountain and Eagle's Nest, as well 
as of the "Colleen Bawn " rock, which lies close 
to the shore and within a stone's throw of the drive. 
On a still autumn day this journey round West 
Muckross is particularly attractive. 

When Brickeen Bridge is reached, a view is 
obtained of the Middle Lake and Lough Leane, con- 
nected by the short stream which flows under the 
" small trout bridge," for such is the meaning of Bric- 
keen. At Dinas, where the bamboo flourishes and 
magnolias, azalias, and various shaded hydrangias 
grow and flower in the open, a rest should be made 
for a time to view the "Meeting of the Waters" 
and the " Old Weir Bridge." On a summer after- 
noon it is a pretty sight to see the boats from the 
various hotels shooting the rapids one after another. 
From Dinas the road winds round the end of the 
Middle Lake through a plantation of fine Scots firs, 
till it joins the main KilJarney and Kenmare road 

87 



KERRY 

at the base of Tore Mountain. Here a turn should 
be made to the left and the main road followed to 
Killarney. Tore Mountain was planted about a 
hundred years ago by the Colonel Herbert of the 
day ; and the *^ Dower House," now in ruins, 
situated elose to the foot of the mountain within 
the park enclosure, was built about the same time. 

Tore Waterfall. One m. along this road from 
the point above mentioned, the eottage on the right 
marks another entrance to Muckross Park, and close 
at hand is the door and path leading to Tore Cascade. 
This beautiful fall is justly celebrated, and 
even in comparatively dry weather presents 
an attractive sight. In floodtime it would be 
hard to exaggerate the grandeur of the scene. 
The first view of the cascade is from the foot 
straight facing the gorge and ridge over which the 
water passes ; but a pathway leads to the top of the 
hill above the fall, and it is well worth the climb to 
view the scenery from the higher level. A delight- 
ful walk leads from the top of the ridge through the 
pine woods to Muckross. This route is called the 
"Queen's Drive." 

Killarney to the Gap of Dunloe and the Upper 
Lake, One of the recognised tours from Killarney 
is that which extends through the Gap of Dunloe 
and thence to the head of the Upper Lake at 
Geeramen, where boats previously sent up the 
chain of lakes meet visitors and convey them 
homewards by way of the Long Range, the 
" Meeting of the Waters," and Lough Leane. 
There are two ways of enjoying this expedition. 
The first by car along the main road from Killarney 
to the cross road beyond Lake View House (3 
m.), thence to the left over the wooden bridge 



KILLARNEY 

across the Laune, leaving the quaint old tower of 
Dunloe Castle on the right, to a point where a cross 
road running to the left goes through the wide glen 
which leads to the pass called the Gap of Dunloe. 
This drive is especially attractive, being close to a 
mountain stream issuing from the Black Lake and 
Cushvally Lake on the right of the road to the 
cottage at the foot of the pass, which marks the end 
of the journey by car. From here the traveller can 
proceed either on foot or on pony-back through the 
gap (4m.). The scenery is impressive. The Purple 
Mountain on the 1 eft h and rises to a height of 2 7 3 7 ft. , 
whilst on the right the high ridge of the " Reeks" 
breaks suddenly into a precipice of extraordinary 
boldness. About a mile from its entrance the 
'' Gap " broadens out, and the road leads by a zig- 
zag to the summit of the pass. The wooded valley 
of Geerameen comes gradually in sight, and as the 
road winds down the hillside a glorious view of 
Coom Duv or the " Black Valley " is obtained. 
At the foot of the hill the road turns to the L., 
and goes along to the Geerameen River and through 
pleasant woods to " Lord Brandon's Cottage " and 
the boat landing-stage of Geerameen. Just before 
entering the woods a branch road to the right leads 
through the valley of O wenreagh, to the Windy Gap 
on the main road between Killarney and Kenmare. 
The road from this point can be safely recom- 
mended to cyclists and foot passengers, the distance 
from Geerameen to the Windy Gap being 5 m. 

Arrived at Geerameen landing-stage, the journey 
homewards can be made by boat over the waters of 
the Upper Lake, 10 to 12 m., according to the 
part of the Lower Lake to which the visitor returns. 
Should time permit, a stop should be made at 

89 



KERRY 

Derrycunihy Cottage, situated in the woods on the 
R. side of the lake. A boat can go within a 
few yards of this cottage, where there is a landing- 
stage, and a short walk up the little Derrycunihy 
River brings to view the waterfall which comes from 
the hills through an overhanging tangle of oaks and 
birch trees. Boats have the Upper Lake 
by an intricate passage called " Colman's Eye," 
where the giant or hero Colman is said to 
have leapt across the narrow channel and left 
his footprints, of no mean size, in the rocks. 
When going through the Long Range a sharp 
look-out should be kept for the sight of a stag 
or hind, especially in the evening, when they 
leave the woods and come out in the open to feed. 
Eagle's Nest, which towers up almost per- 
pendicularly from the wooded shores of the 
calm water, is a fine point from which to 
look back up the Long Range. There are 
many outlines of distance to be seen from this 
place, and these, with the foreground of water and 
heather, make a charming picture. In front, as the 
boat proceeds, is Sheehy Mountain, and the long 
glen thickly clothed with woods, which stretches 
from Eagle's Nest to the folds of the Purple 
Mountain and Glena. 

Shooting the rapids is one of the features of this 
water journey, and in full flood-time is an exciting 
experience, the boats rushing under the arch of the 
old weir bridge into the still circle of the " Meeting 
of the Waters." Here it is well to rest on the oars, 
and, turning back, look at the view of the bridge 
with its shadowing trees and the background of 
mountains ; or, landing for a few moments, visit 
the cottage of Dinas, where tea is to be obtained, 

90 




CLOISTERS, MUCKROSS ABBEY 



KILLARNEY 

and where azalias and camellias flourish in the 
open. 

The route to the L o wer L ake ( L ough L eane ) may 
be made either by the back channel, where osmunda 
ferns and silver birches clothe the banks of the stream, 
and where beautiful views of Glena's wooded hills 
present themselves at every turn, or under the low, 
wooden bridge to the Middle Lake and on under 
Brickeen Bridge. This Middle Lake presents 
quite different features to the rest of the scenery 
of Killarney, and it seems to belong to a different 
chapter in the book of beautiful things. Low rocks 
clothed with birch and holly bound its northern 
shores, whilst its southern boundary is in the deep 
shadow of Tore Mountain, which rises up to a height 
of 1764 ft. Broader views of Glena and Eagle's 
Nest are seen from the E. side, which is, perhaps, 
the best point from which to see the lake as a whole. 
The latter part of this journey is made over 
Lough Leane to Ross Castle, the Victoria Landing- 
Stage, or the Castle Lough Stage near the Lake 
Hotel. 

The tour here described is one which never 
fails to interest and attract visitors, and is 
one which can be strongly recommended. 
But should time permit, the reverse of this 
journey will probably present attractions of an 
even greater description. The advantage of the 
reverse journey, first by the lake and then by car, 
is that in the journey up the lakes the whole of 
the mountain scenery is in front, and the traveller 
is always going into more beautiful country mile 
by mile. 

Killarney to Lough Guitane and the 
Glen of Keppoch, This excursion is not 

9^ 



KERRY 

one of those generally enumerated amongst 
the number to be made from Killarney, but 
it can compare with any in point of scenery. 
Two m. from Killarney, by the Muckross 
Road, a cross road leads up the hill, passing the 
gates of Danesfort, the residence of S. H. Butcher, 
Esq., to the Loretto Convent, and descending the 
height on the E. side, goes by a winding route 
which gives a fine view of Crohane Mountain and 
the Paps to Poul-derka Wood — a dark fir planta- 
tion, in which is a hollow rocky kind of crater. 
In this secluded spot Mass was said in penal days. 
Turning to the L. at Poul-derka the road passes 
Lough Guitane Schoolhouse on the left, and soon 
after that the stony region of Cools' is seen on the 
R. About three-quarters of a mile from the school- 
house there is a bridge crossing the Finow River, 
and a first glimpse is obtained of Lough Guitane. 
From this point the up-and-down road goes 
along the northern side of the lough, separated 
from it by some yards of moorland. Half a mile 
farther on is seen a gate on the right-hand side, 
separating the main road from a "bohereen," or 
rough car track, which leads along by a pleasant 
farm to the eastern shore of the lake. From here 
the roadway continues past a headland to the 
entrance of the glen of Keppoch. Every few 
yards bring some new and interesting bit of 
mountain scenery before the view. Croghane 
Mountain, sloping down to the shores of the lake, 
falls away to the S. to form a deep dip which 
divides its shoulder from the bold, steep, and pro- 
minent feature of the '' trap " dyke which separates 
Croghane from the dark craggy sides of Stoompa. 
At the head of the lough there is some cultivated 

92 




TORE WATERFALL 



KILLARNEY 

land, and two comfortable hill farms stand shelter- 
ing in the hollow. A streamlet runs through this 
pleasant valley, coming from the depths of Keppoch 
and tumbhng over some miniature waterfalls in its 
course to the lake. The road to the farms is fairly 
good, but after passing this point a very indifferent 
pathway, being, in fact, little more than a mountain 
track worn by the feet of cattle and shepherds, 
leads on into the recesses of the glen. 

A slight rise in the ground obscures the view 
after passing the farms, but on surmounting the 
eminence (|^ m.) the first plateau of Keppoch 
is seen widening out on each side of the stream to 
Stoompa on the R., and to the exceedingly bold 
and lofty cliffs which form the western face of the 
^' dyke," which runs like a wedge due S., and 
forms the eastern boundary of this beautiful glen. 
Trees now straggle up the mountain slopes, oaks 
and hollies and mountain ashes, and break the stern 
outlines of the crags. Again there is a rise in 
the ground, and the stream comes hurtling and 
rushing down a boulder strewn course. It is hard 
here to keep the track, and care should be taken 
not to fall into some of the numerous holes 
hidden by a rank growth of ferns and heather. 
At the top of this second rise the beautiful 
wooded amphitheatre is seen. The whole place 
is wrapped in silence save for the tinkle of the 
brook which flows through this delightful spot. 
Grim solemn mountains rise around at whose base 
are woods where oaks, birches, and hollies grow 
in wild luxuriance. A few hundred yards up 
this solitude the valley turns to the R. into the 
breast of Mangerton, and ends abruptly in a 
wilderness with a waterfall (i m. distant). 

93 



KERRY 

There are few places so well worth visiting as 
this beautiful lonely glen of Keppoch. The 
expedition might be varied by rowing across the 
lake from the bridge by the Finow if a boat is 
available, or by having ponies sent to meet the 
visitor at the point where the " bohereen," or bye- 
road, leaves the main public road at the N. end of 
the lake. 

From Killarney to Beaufort, Dunloe, and 
back. From Killarney to Beaufort Bridge is a 
straight 6 m. of good road. The first part of 
the journey can be made either by following 
the main road past the Cathedral and along the 
banks of the Deena to Ballydowney Bridge 
(i m.), and thence passing the gates of the 
Victoria Hotel on the L. (ij m.), and having on 
the R. the woods of Gortroe and the ruined 
Cathedral of Aghadoe, to Aghadoe Cross, 2^ m., 
or by way of the Western Park, which affords 
a fine view of the Lower Lake, Toomies 
Mountains, and the Reeks, to the same place. 
At Aghadoe Cross a road branches off to the 
right up a hill, passing the gates of Aghadoe 
House, the seat of Lord Headley, and eventually 
leading to Milltown, 12 m., or by Aglish and 
Rockfield to Tralee, 20 m. Leaving, however, 
this road for the present, and continuing along the 
main road towards Beaufort, Fossa Chapel is 
passed on the R. hand, and shortly after this 
the gates of Lake View are seen on the left. 
Lake View House, the home of Sir Morgan 
O'Connell, is not seen from the road. A 
few yards beyond the gates of this house a 
road branches off to the L., leading to the Gap 
of Dunloe. This cross is 3J m. from Killarney 

94 



KILLARNEY 

and 2 1 from Beaufort. Half-a-mile beyond this a 
little ruined chapel is seen on the right, nameless 
but picturesque. Another half-a-mile farther and 
the road begins to descend an incline from 
the gates of Grenagh (formerly belonging to 
the O'Connell family) to Beaufort Bridge. A 
farm-house, with gable ends and an air of 
comfort and prosperity about it, is seen on the 
rise of the hill to the right. This farm belongs 
to Mr M*Kay, and is most interesting to anti- 
quarians, as being the site of " The Palace," or 
chief residence of the powerful family of Mac- 
Carthy More. It is sometimes written "The 
Pallis.'^ Little remains to mark the site of this 
once famous place, and it is said that many of the 
stones were taken to build the piggeries at Beaufort 
House. It must have been a beautifully situated 
" Palace," with a view unsurpassed. 

As the traveller nears Beaufort Bridge he should 
specially note the view looking up the Laune River 
to the Gap of Dunloe. Across the bridge the 
lodge gate of Beaufort House is passed on the 
L., and a small collection of houses, picturesque 
in their way, with a post office and police 
barrack, mark the village. Half-a-mile farther 
on the demesne of Dunloe is met on the L. 
Four hundred yards due S. of the entrance 
gate, at the edge of a small plantation, is the 
cave of Dunloe, famous for its Ogham stones. 
About the year 1838 some workmen discovered 
this subterranean chamber, rudely built and covered 
with flagstones. These stones are all inscribed with 
Ogham characters. For some few remarks on 
these Ogham monuments see Section IX., under 
the head of " Antiquities." 

95 



KERRY 

The Waters of Christ. In the glen, to the 
S. of this cave, through which the little river 
flows from the far-off lakes in the " Gap," there 
is a holy well called " Isky Christa," or the 
Waters of Christ. The dome over the well can 
be seen from the footbridge which spans the Loe. 
The grounds of Dunloe Castle being private, a 
return must be made to the main pathway, and the 
road followed which skirts the demesne wall and 
falls to the bridge over the Loe near the old corn 
mill on the right. The road leading straight S. 
goes to the Gap of Dunloe ; that which bends 
to the L. passes the main gate of Dunloe Castle, 
and leads to the "Wooden Bridge" over the 
Laune, i^ m., and thence to Killarney. 

Dunloe Castle. This old castle is one of the 
few old feudal keeps still inhabited. Founded, 
so it is said, about the nth century, it stands 
in a commanding position on a hill bounded on 
the E. by the Laune River, and on the N. by 
the little stream, the Loe, which comes from the 
loughs in the Gap of Dunloe. The land on which 
the castle stands slopes suddenly to the river on the 
N. and N.E. side, and on the S.E. spreads out 
in a broad sweep well timbered, which affords a 
long-distance view of the Lower Lake of Killarney. 
Dunloe must have been a strong place in olden 
times, and was probably built to guard the entrance 
to the " Gap." It has been in the Mahony family 
for many generations, having come to them by 
a marriage of a Mahony with an heiress of 
O' Sullivan More, and has moreover been instru- 
mental in history making, as all readers of Froude 
are aware. Originally the castle was much larger 
than the present building would lead one to expect ; 

96 



KILLx^RNEY 

and probably the whole crown of the hill was a 
part of this strong place. But the castle, as it 
now stands, is one of the most picturesque and inter- 
esting buildings in the neighbourhood of Killarney. 

Toomies. A mile E. from Dunloe Castle and 
near the shore of the lake are to be seen the 
faint outlines of Toomies House, the old residence 
of the O' Sullivan More. 

Ballymalis. Eight m. from Killarney, on 
the direct road 'via Beaufort to Killorglin, and 4 
m. from the latter place, stands the old castle of 
Ballymalis. Local tradition ascribes its building to 
a family of the name of Ferris, but it is also said to 
have belonged to the Moriartys. The cut stone 
windows and the ogee arch, together with the pointed 
arches of the doorways, seem to indicate the date 
of the building as being late 15th or early i6th 
century. A gable at the N. end shows the founda- 
tion of a high pitched roof, and one tall chimney 
gaunt against the sky still stands on the N.E. side. 
There are two projecting machicolated defensive 
galleries midway up the W. and E. angle of 
the walls. The lower part of the N. angle is 
gone. A pointed arched doorway on the S.E. 
face leads to a spiral stairway of limestone in 
good preservation ; and branching off this stair- 
way are two rooms with the stone flooring still 
preserved, and on the ceiling of one the mortar 
shows the marks of the basket-work which sup- 
ported the arch when in process of formation. 
On the projection at the W. angle can be seen 
the '' Fleur de Lys " cut in the supporting lime- 
stone corbels. Apparently an annexe existed at 
the S.E. side, and the moss-covered foundations 
are still to be traced. 

G 97 



KERRY 

Ballymalis is a most beautiful old ruin, and 
it is a pity so little is known of its history. 
It stands on rising ground on the R. bank of 
the Laune, and within a stone's-throw of the river. 
To get to the castle two or three fields must be 
crossed from the main road. From a distance 
it presents an imposing appearance, and it must 
have been a place of importance in old days. 
A line of castles from Killorglin to Killaha guarded 
the sort of frontier which the Flesk, the Killarney 
Lake, and the Laune River formed between the 
lowland country and the highlands of Desmond. 

Killorglin and Ballymalis guarded the shallows 
over the river Laune by which a foe could cross 
from Iveragh to Castlemaine. Dunloe guarded the 
pass through the Gap of Dunloe, whilst Killaha, 
once in the possession of the " O'Donoghues of the 
Glen," guarded the entrance to the " Robbers' 
Glen " and the wild Glen Flesk, and held one of 
the main approaches to the Kenmare district where 
O'Sullivan More held sway. Most of these castles, 
if not all of them, were probably held by those 
who owed allegiance to the powerful chief Mac- 
Carthy More. 

Killarney to Loo Bridge by the Pass of 
Crohane. The expedition from Killarney to the 
glen of Keppoch has been mentioned already in 
this Guide. But there is another journey in the 
same district which possesses many attractions. 
Lough Guitane lies S.E. of Killarney 4 m., and 
a row of i|^ m. across the lake brings the traveller 
to the mouth of the Cappagh River, which flows 
from the glen of Keppoch (or Cappagh). The 
graceful pointed mountain on the S.E. side of 
the lake is Crohane (2102 ft.). Between this 

98 



KILLARNEY 

mountain and the glen of Keppoch is an irregular 
bluiF mass with a southward trend, running Hke a 
wedge between the heights of Crohane and Stoompa. 
A footpath leads up the wooded gorge on the E. 
side of this wedge by the side of a streamlet 
which is soon lost underground as the traveller 
ascends the steep gorge. About a mile and a 
half from the shore of Lough Guitane a small 
mountain lake is met, called Lough Nabrada. 
The E. side of the wedge before mentioned is 
worth observing closely. The grand masses of 
cliff which rise on the right-hand side, and form 
the western boundary of the gorge, are of basaltic 
formation. In places the lower parts of the cliffs 
have fallen away, and make " screes " down the 
mountain side, whilst the upper portions still retain 
the perpendicular organ - pipe - like appearance 
peculiar to basaltic formation. Half-a-mile be- 
yond Lough Nabrada to the S. lies Lough 
Crohane, with a bit of wild wood on its W. shore. 
From the S. end of this lough a walk of a little 
over a mile leads to the Headford-Kenmare road, 
which runs parallel to the line of railway. Three 
m. along this road to the E. is Loo Bridge rail- 
way station, from which point a train (if time fits) 
may be caught for the return journey to Killarney. 
The whole distance from the S. shore of Lough 
Guitane to Loo Bridge Station by the above- 
mentioned route would be 6 m. 

The Ascent of Mangerton, There is no diffi- 
culty whatever in going to the summit of Manger- 
ton. A footpath leads from base to summit which 
cannot possibly be missed. Some prefer making the 
journey on ponies, which can always be obtained. 
On a clear day the views are exceedingly fine, 

UOFC 99 



KERRY 

and from the summit can be seen the waters of 
Kenmare River to the S., the mountains of County- 
Cork, and the islands called the " Bull " and " Cow." 
To the W. the whole of the wild mass of moun- 
tains at the head of the Upper Lake are seen, whilst 
to the N., laid out like a map, is the lowland 
district of North Kerry, and the faint blue hills of 
Limerick and Clare. 

Travellers can make an interesting return journey 
by the " Glen of the Horses " — Gloun na Coppul 
— which is on the E. side of Mangerton, and con- 
tains three small loughs — Lough Eragh, Lough 
Managh, and Lough Garagarry. The " Devil's 
Punch Bowl " is the name given to the dark 
lough near the summit of Mangerton. It is 2206 
ft. above the sea-level, and is bounded on its S. and 
W. by precipitous rocks. This lake now forms 
the main reservoir for the water-supply of the 
town of Killarney. The stream issuing from the 
"Punch Bowl" goes to swell the waters of the 
little river flowing through the deer forest, and 
which tumbles through the woods on the lower 
slope of Mangerton to form the Tore Cascade. 

O'Sullivan's Cascade, Three m. of a row 
over the Lower Lake from Ross Castle brings the 
traveller to O' Sullivan's Cascade. The stream 
supplying this beautiful waterfall rises in the depths 
of the Toomies Mountains, and flowing through 
the woods, breaks into foam through a dark gorge 
in the rocks. The waterfall is shaded by trees, 
and presents a singularly beautiful appearance. 

Killarney to the Hag^s Glen and Carran^ 
tuohill. This expedition should not be forgotten 
when enumerating some of the many to be made 
from Killarney. The magnificent mountain scenery 

100 



KILLARNEY 

of Kerry centres in this wonderful glen, with 
the highest peaks in all Ireland towering over it. 
The best way to get to this glen is by way of 
Beaufort (6^ m.). Three miles W. of Beaufort 
village, leaving Churchtown on the R., a branch 
road goes S. towards the jagged sierra - like 
ridge of the Reeks. One m. from the Cross 
at Churchtown the road swings W. again, and 
crossing the Gaddagh River, continues for two more 
miles till it ends at a collection of cottages near a bit 
of plantation by the river side. At this point cars 
or bicycles must be abandoned, and the journey 
through the glen made on foot. A rough mountain 
track leads through the centre of the glen for 2 m. 
till Lough Callee and Gouragh Lake are reached. 
The scenery along this mountain track is most im- 
pressive. In front is seen the steep " scree '^ called 
the " Devil's Ladder," up which it is necessary to 
climb if the ascent of Carrantuohill is intended. 
On the R. a bold spur of Beenkeragh juts out, its 
southern point bearing some resemblance to a sphinx 
overlooking the glen. Imagination can picture the 
face of the " Hag " in this bold rocky mass, and 
from this the glen takes its name. Carrantuohill 
is seen at the head of the glen, rising to a height of 
3414 ft. The only hard bit of climbing by this 
route is up the Devil's Ladder, where the shifting 
stones make a foothold difficult. From the top 
of the " Ladder " the slope of Carrantuohill is 
comparatively easy. The whole distance from the 
town of Killarney to the summit is 14 m. The 
return journey could be made by way of Glencar 
or by way of Curraghmore Lake and the Black 
Valley to the head of the Upper Lake. 

Killarney through the Deer Park, A drive 

lOI 



KERRY 

from Killarney through the deer park leads by the 
glen through which flows the Deenagh river to the 
" Madam's Height," where the new *« Campo 
Santo," or cemetery, given by the Dowager 
Countess of Kenmare, is situated. Here a crucifix 
under a canopy, the work of Bentley, is to be seen. 



CHAPTER n 

KENMARE 

The town of Kenmare, situated at the head of the 
long "fiord" which goes by the name of " Ken- 
mare River," is approachable by four main routes, 
(i) By train from Headford Junction, on the 
Great Southern and Western Railway, or by road 
from the same place through the beautiful valley of 
Glenflesk and the wild rocky bit called ** The 
Robbers' Glen," and thence by Loo Bridge, 
Morley's Bridge, and Kilgarvan. The whole of 
the scenery along this route is of a singularly 
beautiful description, wood, mountain, rock, and 
stream combining to form one of the most varied 
and picturesque districts in Kerry. The road, 
which runs parallel with the railway, is good for 
cycling, and hence in every way it is an attractive 
journey. 

(2) Over the hills from GlengarifFe by way of 
"The Tunnel," and down the pretty valley of the 
Sheen River (20 m.). 

(3) Over the hills from Killarney by the Derry- 
cunihy woods and the hills of the " Windy Gap " 
(20 m.). It would be hard to find a journey more 

102 



KENMARE 

full of interest than this, which skirts the shores of 
the Middle and Upper Lakes and rises gradu- 
ally to the upper level by the Mulgrave Police 
Barrack (lO m.) and thence to Looscaunagh 
Lough. Along the whole route beautiful views are 
obtained of the Upper Lake, the Purple Mountain, 
and the Reeks, and soon after passing Looscaunagh 
Lake the heights of Knockabreeda, Boughal, and 
Mullaghahattin are seen in the W. over the quiet 
valley of the Owenreagh. At the Windy Gap the 
road turns to the L., and a gradual descent for 6 m. 
gives views of Knockboy and the Priest's Leap, and 
the many mountains on the southern shores of the 
Bay of Kenmare. 

(4) The fourth way of approach is by way 
of Sneem and Parknasilla, and on by Tahilla, 
Blackwater Bridge, and Dromore. The route, as 
far as the last-named place along the shores of 
Kenmare River, is extremely attractive, but after 
Dromore the route becomes somewhat monotonous, 
and there is little to interest the traveller except 
perhaps the ruin of the old Castle of Dunkerron, 
the ancient seat of the O' Sullivan More. These 
ruins, however, cannot be seen from the road. 
Approaching the town of Kenmare by this route 
a pretty bit of scenery is met with at the place 
where the Sneem road joins the coach road from 
Killarney, a quarter of a mile from the town. 

( I ) Kenmare, Kenmare, called in old maps 
Nedheen, is built in the form of an irregular tri- 
angle, and was founded by Sir William Petty in the 
17th century. As its name implies, it is situated 
at the head of the bay or river to which it gives 
the name. The geological structure of this district 
is interesting even to those who are not experts 



KERRY 

in this branch of science, as the ridges of the 
mountains and the smooth ice - planed rocks 
cannot fail to be noticed even by the uninitiated. 
The convent of " Poor Clares,'' which is now 
so well known, is one of the chief places of interest 
in the town. In it can be seen specimens of the 
lace and needlework which have given it a wide- 
extended reputation. The church, situated close 
to the convent, is also worth a visit. Near the 
town can be seen the place where, in 1688-89, 
the colony of iron - workers, mechanics, and 
farmers, who had been established in Kenmare by 
Sir William Petty during the quiet times between 
1645 and 1688, entrenched themselves and held 
out against certain bands of robbers who raided 
their cattle and endangered their lives. The story 
is a strange one, and needs to be carefully read to 
be understood. After various struggles and suffer- 
ings the remnant of the colony, founded with high 
hope of industrial success, was obliged to give in, 
and was shipped off to Bristol. This happened 
when James II. was king, and before the authority 
of King William III. had been estabUshed in the 
" Kingdom of Kerry." Not far from Kenmare 
is the field of Callan, where in 1261 the great battle 
was fought between the Geraldines and MacCarthys, 
which ended so disastrously to the Geraldines. 

(2) Dunkerron Castle, Two m. to the W. 
of Kenmare on the direct road to Sneem the gates 
of Dunkerron are passed on the left-hand side, and 
on entering the grounds the gaunt pile of masonry 
representing the tower and one wall of the old 
castle of O'SuIlivan More is seen standing on a 
slight eminence. As these grounds are private, 
permission must be obtained before entering. A 

104 



KENMARE 

few slabs of stone, rudely cut, on which armorial 
bearings may be traced, lie in the recess within the 
ruined walls, whilst over the pretty well close by 
is this inscription, in parts almost defaced — 

I.H.S. Maria 
•V Deo Gracias 

/^V-^ This work was made 

r) A/ XX OF April 1596 by 

Owen O 'Sullivan More 

and SiLY N.Y. DONOGH 

Mac Carty Rieog — . 

Whether this inscription refers to the well over 
which it now stands, or whether it formerly was 
applicable to the castle, cannot now be told. These 
names convey but little to the casual observer. 
But when the history of the county is understood, 
they remind the reader of much that is interesting. 
After the Desmond wars in the time of Eliza- 
beth, the present county of Kerry saw the settle- 
ment of various English families, who gradually 
intermarried with the old Irish families, and by 
purchase, royal grants, and marriages, became pos- 
sessed of the principal part of the land of the county. 

The MacCarthy Rieog, or Reagh, mentioned in 
this old worn inscription, had a son called Florence 
MacCarthy, who was engaged to the daughter of 
Sir Owen O' Sullivan More. Queen Elizabeth 
was anxious that Sir Nicholas Browne of Mola- 
hiffe should marry Eileen MacCarthy, the daughter 
and heiress of the MacCarthy More, Earl of 
Glencar. But Florence MacCarthy upset all her 
calculations by running away with this lady and 
breaking his troth with the fair O' Sullivan. They 
were married, so says an old writer, "in an old 

los 



KERRY 

broken church in the wilds of Killarney with a 
Mass without licence of a bishop, and not in such 
solemnity and good sort as behoved, and as order of 
law and Her Majesty's injunctions do require." Poor 
runaway lovers ! Banishment and a time in a tower 
was the punishment Elizabeth awarded Florence. 
Sir Nicholas Browne gallantly married the jilted 
lady, and through her became possessor of a great 
part of the O'Sullivan property. The eldest son, 
Valentine, married the Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald, 
daughter of the luckless Gerald, i6th Earl of Des- 
mond. But the story of the fusion of races and the 
continuity of history is too long for the pages of a 
little Guide, and reference should be made by those 
who are interested in these matters to that invaluable 
work, Dr Smith's " History of Kerry," where 
some of this is recorded. 

(3) Kenmare to the Priest's Leap, The road 
from Kenmare to Glengariffe leaves the southern 
end of the town and, crossing the Suspension 
Bridge [\ m.), turns to the E, for i m,, and S. 
again along the valley of the Sheen River, which 
flows in many bends and over miniature falls from 
the mountains lying to the S., which separate the 
county of Cork from the county of Kerry. 
About 5 m. from Kenmare a branch road turns 
to the L. at a group of cottages and crosses a two- 
arched bridge. A sharp turn to the R. again leads 
along the R. bank of the streamlet towards a 
pretty farm surrounded by oaks and ash trees 
and approached by some stepping-stones over the 
water. From this point the road gradually rises 
for a mile to descend again at a point where a 
bye-road, crossing a bridge on the R., winds 
under the northern end of Deelis Mountain. 

106 




THE HAC; S GLEN AND CARKANTUOHIL 



KENMARE 

Here it is well to pause and look at the scene. 
If this journey is made in June or July when the 
wild rose and honeysuckle are in flower, and the 
'' Cotton Grass " waves in the damp growth in the 
bog lands, and the emerald green amidst the cliffs 
makes even the barren mountains rich, the visitor 
will not soon forget the beauty of this valley. 
To the S. the broad glen of Bannane opens out, 
at the head of which a waterfall may be seen sliding 
down the mountain side. To the N. Peakeen and 
the Purple Mountain are seen, whilst far away to 
the W. lies Knockreagh. One hundred yards 
beyond this bridge the direct road for the hills 
appears to go through the glen of Bannane, but 
this route must be avoided and the road which leads 
to the L. hand, up a slight hill, must be taken. 
A curve round the shoulder of a hill brings full 
in view the wild glen of Erneen lying in the folds 
of Barrerneen Mountain (1484 ft.) on the L. hand 
and Kinkeen Mountain (1666 ft.) on the R. 
A short distance along the road there is a group 
of beech trees on the rising ground to the L. 
These trees surround the old graveyard and remains 
of the old church of Feaughna. There is little of 
interest in this old ruin, of which but a small portion 
is left with an outline of foundations amidst the 
graves and rank herbage. But in a field close by 
is an interesting puzzle. 

On a large rock in the centre of this field there 
are five symmetrical holes, and in each of these holes 
are egg-shaped stones. Three similar stones lie on the 
rock, the whole eight forming a rough circle, in the 
centre of which lies an old " quern," or stone, used 
in ancient times to grind corn. Local people liken 
these stones to pats of butter, which indeed they 

107 



KERRY 

resemble to a remarkable extent. A superstition at- 
taches to this curious rock, and it is held to be very 
unlucky to remove, even temporarily, one of these 
stones. As to the idea of removing them to another 
place, such a thing is unthinkable, and would be 
futile, for the stones to whatever place removed 
would be taken back again by some invisible power 
forthwith to the rock where they have lain for ever 
so many hundreds of years ! Whatever may be 
the scientific explanation of this curiosity, it seems 
capable of one interpretation. Might this rock not 
have been the rude mill of old days when the corn 
was ground in these hollows by hand ? The pre- 
sence of the old *' quern '^ seems to suggest this. 
However, no explanation is offered as none is 
known. This suggestion might lead to a possible 
explanation. Leaving Feaughna Graveyard and the 
enigmatical rock, a road is seen running straight up 
Erneen Glen ; this is, however, but an accommo- 
dation road for the dwellers in the vicinity. The 
road fbr the '' Priest's Leap" crosses the little bridge 
over the mountain stream, and leads on for a mile to 
the last cottage to be met on the R. of the road. 

From this place it is not possible to cycle, and 
the rest of the journey to the head of the pass must 
be made on foot or horseback. It is a beautiful 
walk from this point with the great Knockboy 
Mountain (2321 ft.) overlooking the wild glen on 
the L., and Boughil, the Reeks, and Mullaghan- 
hattin seem far away over the wooded slopes to the N. 
Few walks are more enjoyable than this one for 
those who love lonely mountain scenery. When 
the summit of the pass is reached, the head of 
Bantry Bay, with a corner of Whiddy Island, and 
the plantations around Bantry House break suddenly 

108 



KENMARE 

on the view, and the long length of the road runs 
like a ribbon to the lowlands near Bantry Town. 

The " Priest's Leap '' takes its name from the 
legend which tells how in the days when the penal 
laws were in full swing a priest was saying the 
forbidden mass on the top of this pass. Suddenly 
the English soldiers appeared coming up the moun- 
tain road from Kenmare, and the priest seeing them, 
leapt into the saddle and with one bound landed in 
Bantry. The truth of the story can be proved by 
the prints of the horse's hoofs in a rock near Bantry 
Town, and even the mark of the priest's whip, 
which fell from his hand as he alighted, is still 
pointed out. After enjoying the view from this 
pass, it would be well to make for the highest point 
of the hills on the R., distant i m., from which 
a good view is obtained of Glengariffe Harbour, 
with its islands and old signal tower, and the woods 
clothing the shores of this inlet lying beneath. 

These mountains form the boundary line between 
Cork and Kerry, and a delightful return journey 
might be made by keeping the ridge of the boundary 
line as far as the "Tunnel" and descending by the 
main road which leads from Glengariffe to Kenmare. 
But if the cycle has been left at the hospitable 
farmer's house at the foot of the " Priest's Leap " 
this will not be practicable. By whichever route 
the return is made there will be ample reward for 
the traveller in the exquisite scenes which meet 
him at every turn of the road. This expedition to 
the Priest's Leap may be counted as one of the 
most, among the many, attractive expeditions to be 
made from various centres in Kerry. 

(4) Kenmare to Cloonee Lough and Derreen, 
Leaving Kenmare by the Suspension Bridge and 

109 



KERRY 

turning to the R., through the woods, which 
extend for half-a-mile along the shores of the 
estuary to the open country, which gives views of 
wonderful beauty, the island of Dinish, on which 
Mr Herbert has a house, is passed. This is some 
3 J m. from Kenmare. Three m. further on a 
cross-road branches off to the L., leading, as 
it seems, to a glen. Leaving this road and 
continuing a mile further on the main road, the 
Cloonee loughs appear in view on the left, and 
2 m. beyond this, on a promontory overlooking 
the sea on the R., is Ardea Castle — now a ruin, 
but once the strong fortress of the O'Sulhvan 
More. The cliffs of shale and sand on which 
this ruin stands are gradually being washed away, 
and tradition has it that when this old castle 
disappears the lakes of Killarney will be no more. 
Beyond Ardea the road leads to Kilmacilloge 
Harbour and the long valley of Glenmore. All 
this is classic ground and connected with the name 
of Froude and the charming book written by him in 
this locality, called the " Two Chiefs of Dunboy." 
People visiting this romantic region should not 
fail to read this book, which gives so truly the 
atmosphere of Kerry, even if the accuracy of its 
details is not all that might be desired. Derreen 
is the home of the Marquis of Lansdowne, who 
has succeeded in creating here a place as near an 
earthly paradise as is possible. A visitor to Kerry 
permitted to see the grounds of Derreen will be as- 
tonished at the number and variety of the sub-tropical 
plants which grow and flourish in this favoured spot. 
As all this is private ground, and not available 
for everyone, it seems unnecessary to give any 
lengthened description of it in this *^ Little Guide.'' 

no 



KENMARE 

Visitors will be amply repaid if they enjoy the 
drive along Kenmare River as much as the beauty 
of the scenery leads one to expect they will enjoy 
it. Should the journey be prolonged over the hills 
to Castletown, Berehaven, an additional interest 
will be added. But if this route is not pursued, 
the return journey must be made direct to Kenmare 
by the only road which runs along the shores of 
the bay. 

From Loo Bridge to Ballyvourney and hack 
to Morley's Bridge, On the way to Kenmare by 
rail from Headford there are two stations. Loo 
Bridge and Morley's Bridge, distant 4 m. A very 
pleasant and beautiful cycle ride may be enjoyed 
by leaving the train at Loo Bridge and going up 
the valley of the Clydagh to Ballyvourney (8 m. ). 
A note should be made of the bridge Poulgorrum 
(2 m.) frpm Loo Bridge, where the Flesk River 
flows between great masses of rock. At Bally- 
vourney a turn to the R. leads at the back of the 
Derrynasaggart Mountains to Sillahertane (6 m.), 
and thence to Morley's Bridge (5 m.). From 
Morley's Bridge the road leads 9 m. down the 
valley of the Roughty River to Kenmare. 

Carrig-a-Cappeen. Visitors to Kenmare should 
not omit to visit the singular geological monument 
called Carrig-a-Cappeen, which consists of a great 
block of old red sandstone resting on a pillar of 
limestone 6 ft. in height. Geologists attribute this 
freak of nature to the action of ice. The site of 
this monument is about 3 m. outside Kenmare, on 
the road to Kiigarvan. Following this road past 
Killowen, Cleady Cottage is reached, and a walk 
of one-third-of-a-mile brings the tourist to Carrig- 
a-Cappeen. 

Ill 



KERRY 

Cloghvorragh, On the opposite side of the 
Roughty River another geological anomaly is to be 
seen at Cloghvorragh. Here a huge block of lime- 
stone rests on the top of an old red sandstone hill 
250 ft. above the sea. 

Kenmare to Derrycunihy and Killarney, 
A route recommended to pedestrians, but not to 
cyclists, is that which leaves Kenmare by the 
road near the station, and leading up hill by the 
poorhouse gets to the heights above Beechmount. 
From there, by an up-and-down road, the travel- 
ler passes through the moorlands which stretch 
from the S.W. slopes of Mangerton on the R. 
and Peakeen Mountain, which rises 1825 ft. on 
the L. of the road, and eventually reaches the little 
chapel of Derrycunihy, sheltered by woods and 
overlooking the beautiful scenery of the Upper Lake 
of Killarney. The distance from Kenmare to this 
chapel is 6 m. A traveller who gives plenty 
of time for the walk might meet the coach at 
Derrycunihy, and so journey on to Killarney. 



CHAPTER HI 

SNEEM AND PARKNASILLA 

Sneem lies at the head of a secluded bay into 
which Ardsheelhane, Sneem, and Owenreagh rivers 
pour their waters. The two former, joining a short 
distance above the town, flow under the picturesque 
bridge in a broken fall to the salt water, which 
stretches up to the rocks on which the church with 
the pretty campanile stands. The view from 

112 



SNEEM AND PARKNASILLA 

Sneem Bridge, especially in the evening when the 
setting sun gives a glow to the warm colours on the 
hill-sides and on the little campanile, is particularly- 
beautiful. 

Approaches, i. By Waterville, which will be 
described in the next chapter — Chapter IV. 

2. From Kenmare, which is described in Chap- 
ter 11. of this Guide. 

3. Direct from Killarney. 

This latter approach presents many attractions to 
those who wish to enjoy 29 m. of uninterrupted 
mountain scenery. The first part of this route is by 
the main road from Killarney via Muckross and 
Derrycunihy to the Windy Gap (16 m.) on the 
Kenmare- Glengariffe route. At this point the 
visitor, instead of following the road through the 
Windy Gap, should take that which leans to the 
R. somewhat, and runs along the slope overlooking 
the Owenreagh for half-a-mile to " Moll's " Gap, 
and on by the small dark lake of Barfinnihy. The 
scored, seamed side of Boughil (2065 ft.) slopes 
to this little lough, and the road from there 
bends round to the R. and runs almost straight 
over the Blackwater to Sneem (14 m.). A 
beautiful view is obtained of the mountain 
range, through which passes the road over Bal- 
loughbeama to Glencar. The points of Mullag- 
hattan (2539 ft.) and Beoun (2468 ft.) are 
conspicuous objects along this route, and the deep 
glens in the recesses of this mountain chain add 
variety and interest to the scenery. Approach- 
ing Sneem from this direction, care should be 
taken to note the peculiarity of the formation 
of some of the hills where the stratification 
of the rocks appears perpendicular. Very little 

H 113 



KERRY 

planting breaks the scenery, save along the lower 
reaches of the Blackwater River. But: when 
Sneem is reached the wooded promontories and 
islands come in view, and the landscape changes its 
character. The little village, built in an irregular 
form, with a fine open space, is of the ordinary 
character, and the chief interest centres round the 
chapel and bridge. Two m. E. from Sneem is 
Parknasilla, meaning the "meadow of willows,'' 
and the residence of a former bishop of Limerick, 
now turned into an hotel. The view from the 
Southern Hotel, a modern structure built in a 
commanding position, is attractive from the com- 
bination of wood and sea and mountain which meets 
the eye at every point. To the W. lies Sherky 
Island, between which and the mainland is a good 
anchorage, where His Majesty's destroyer flotilla 
frequently lies. A mile to the N.W. is Garinish 
Island, where Lord Dunraven has a house sur- 
rounded by a variety of heaths and shrubs which 
make the resemblance to the Riviera of this secluded 
quarter more marked than ever. 

I. Sneem to Rossdohan. One of the most 
interesting places in the neighbourhood of Sneem is 
Rossdohan Island, belonging to Mr Heard. Here, 
within a comparatively few years, a barren island 
has become a paradise of rare shrubs and plants 
from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The 
Austrian pines which have been planted, and 
flourish, give shelter to a number of wattles, 
blue gums, Australian bottlebrush, dracsenas, and 
a host of rare things. Here also the Datura 
flowers in the open. Should permission be 
granted to view these beautiful grounds, the lover 
of plants and flowers will find a world of interest. 

114 



SNEEM AND PARKNASILLA 

In the secluded bays, where the tide washes the 
fronds of the osmunda ferns, will be found in- 
numerable specimens of rare shrubs and plants, 
whilst the views from the different points present 
pictures which make the artist almost envious. 
Across the broad stretch of Kenmare River can 
be seen the old ruins of Ardea Castle, and the 
entrance to the tempting region around Kilmacilloge 
Harbour. 

2. Sneem and Kilmacilloge, A journey across 
the bay by boat to Kilmacilloge can be recom- 
mended as a delightful summer trip, and there are 
many expeditions to be made from Sneem and 
Parknasilla as a centre to places which have been 
noticed in this Guide — notably to Derrynane, 
Staigue Fort, and Coad. Many others recom- 
mended in the local guide books are also full of 
interest, whether the visitor elects to climb the 
mountains or to drive or cycle by the excellent 
roads which are to be found throughout this 
district. 

3. Sneem or Parknasilla to ** The Pocket.'' 
The *^ pocket " is a deep hollow or " coum " in 
the range of hills which lie to the N. of Sneem. 
The actual position of this place is between the 
heights of Mullaghahattin and Beoun, and the best 
way to get to it is by the direct road from Sneem 
to Killarney as far as the upper Blackwater Bridge 
(8 m. from Sneem). Half-a-mile beyond this 
bridge a road branches off the main road to the 
left, leading to the Balloughbeama Pass and Glen- 
car. This road should be followed for i m., 
when another bridge is crossed, and the rather 
rough road bearing nearly W. is seen branching 
from the main road. Three m. along this road a 



KERRY 

few houses are met, and from this point the road 
becomes Httle more than a mountain byeway, lead- 
ing to the depths of the hilJs. On the R. front 
the traveller will see Mullaghahattin (2539 ft,), 
and on the L. front Beoun (2468 ft.). The 
semicircle of hills in front forming the " Pocket " 
cannot be mistaken. The track leads right 
into this recess and ends at a ruined house. 
A small stream flows through this lonely spot, 
and the hills about it present a strange and wild 
appearance with their precipitous rocky sides 
streaked here and there with vivid green growth. 
The return journey could be made on foot over 
the western ridge of hills between the points of 
Faher Mountain and Eskine, but it is almost im- 
possible to push a bicycle by this rough route, though 
it has been done. 



CHAPTER IV 

WATER VILLE 

One of the most fascinating parts of all West Kerry 
is that which lies around the little village of Water- 
ville, and which may not inaptly be called " The 
Waterville District.'' 

Approaches, i. The good coach road from 
Kenmare (36 m.), which runs by Parknasilla, 
Sneem, and the beautiful bit of rock-bound coast 
which extends on to Darrynane and the pass of 
Coomakista, is perhaps the best route to take when 
making the tour for the first time. 

2. But the approach from the N. from Cahir- 

116 



WATERVILLE 

civeen (lo m.) has the merit of shortness for the 
driving part of the journey. This route, from the 
junction at Farranore along by the Riviera-Hke bit 
of coast to Cahirciveen, will be described in 
Chapter V. of this Guide. Should the traveller 
intend going on from Waterville round the coast to 
Kenmare, care should be taken to choose a fine 
day for the journey from Waterville to Darrynane. 
The view from the top of the Coomakista Pass 
is one which requires fine weather. It comprises 
near at hand the miniature harbour of Darrynane, 
the islands of Scariff, Deenish, and the " Two- 
headed Island," and Abbey Island, and far away 
the wave-washed shores of Dursey and the " Bull 
and Cow " rocks. 

3. A third way to approach Waterville is by 
road from Killarney to Glencar (20 m.), and 
thence over the Balloughisheen Pass, and down the 
Inny Valley to Spunkane Chapel, overlooking the 
bay of Ballinskelligs (25 m.). The whole of this 
distance would be 45 m., but a break in the journey 
might be made at Glencar. 

I. Waterville consists of a long street of well- 
built comfortable houses facing the sea, and a few 
equally comfortable-looking hotels, a post office, 
constabulary barrack, a church, and a number of 
shops, which sell most things useful. Many of the 
houses in the place are held by the employees 
of the Commercial Cable Company, which has 
a large establishment in Waterville, occupying a 
conspicuous position on the rising ground N. of 
the village on the road to Cahirciveen. Opposite 
the " Butler Arms Hotel '^ is a beautiful Celtic 
cross, erected to the memory of the late James 
Butler, Esq., of Waterville House. Waterville 

117 



KERRY 

lies within a stone's-throw of the waters of 
Ballinskelligs Bay, and the murmur of the sea is 
ever present in and around the place. Situated 
on the shore, commanding a fine view of Bolus 
Head to the W. and Hog's Head to the S., and 
with a background of mountains beyond the lake, 
which lies i m. from the town, Waterville may be 
said to be one of the most healthful places in Kerry; 
and it possesses a strong attraction, although the 
country around is, for the most part, a treeless 
waste. There is a peculiar charm in the quiet 
colouring and the combination of sea and mountain 
which occurs about here. The Httle river which 
leads the waters of the Lake Currane to the sea is 
the property of the Butlers of Waterville House, 
and the weir which supplies them with salmon for 
sale and for use was granted by charter in the days 
of King John. 

I. Lough Ciirrane, The big lake to which 
the eager fisherman resorts as soon as the season 
opens is about a mile to the S.E. of the village. 
Following the long street southwards a bridge is 
crossed close to Waterville House, and about 200 
yards beyond this a road branches off to the L. by 
a small plantation. This road, passing the " Southern 
Hotel" on the L., leads by the S. shore of the 
lake to the heart of the mountains, where the 
traveller may make his way by rough mountain 
tracks over the hills to Staigue Fort or Sneem — 
the track to Staigue Fort being fairly easy ; that 
to Sneem being barely traceable, and very difficult. 
(See further on in this Guide.) For the present, 
however. Lough Currane must claim attention. 
This lake, so unlike all the other lakes in the 
colouring of its attendant hills and in the bare, 

u8 



WATERVILLE 

solemn loveliness of its appearance, is the second 
largest lake in Kerry. It is 8 m. in circumference, 
and its extreme length is 3;| m. and its breadth 2 m. 
As a salmon and trout lough it has long main- 
tained a reputation amongst fishermen second to 
none. It is said that the best and biggest fish run in 
November at a time when the annual close time 
precludes their lawful capture. The open season is 
from 1st February to the ist November. 

2. Church Island. A row of about i m. from 
the foot of the lake takes the traveller to " Church 
Island," a most attractive and interesting place. 
On this little islet there is the ruined church 
and cell of St Finan. On a bright, sunny day, 
when the lake lies calm and still under the shadow 
of Knockaline (the great hill beyond to the E.), it 
would be hard to find any place which brings more 
vividly to the mind the sense of peace. It was a 
fitting resting-place for those Celtic Christians who 
were eminently men of peace in the midst of a 
troubled world, and " Sons of God " according to 
the beautiful beatitude — 

" Beati pacifici quia filii Dei vocabuntur." 

There has been some discussion as to the exact 
founder of the church on this island. St Finan the 
leper — he who founded the abbey of Innisfallen — 
has been fixed upon as the right St Finan by Lord 
Dunraven in his learned book on Irish Antiquities. 
But others incline to the idea that it was St Finan 
the Crooked — so-called from a squint with which 
he was afflicted. At any rate it was St Finan, 
and it is probably the same St Finan whose name 
is perpetuated in so many places in the district — 
St Finan's Bay, St Finan's Glen, and Darrynane, 

119 



KERRY 

which means the " Oak Grove of St Finan." 
The church is Romanesque, with a round, arched 
doorway and mouldings in a good state of preserva- 
tion. This style of architecture is not necessarily 
Norman. It was introduced into Ireland before 
the Norman conquest, and is probably, as to date, 
coeval with the round, arched Saxon architecture 
found in England. In many cases these Roman- 
esque churches replaced, almost on the same spot, 
churches of a ruder style of architecture, thus carry- 
ing on the continuity of tradition connected with a 
particular locality. The old crosses graven on great 
slabs of stone, and used as tombstones to the present 
day, should be specially noticed. The Celtic in- 
scriptions are clearly cut, and can possibly be read 
and interpreted by students of that language. Inside 
the little, ruined church is preserved the rude carved 
figure of a man playing some instrument of music. 
It seems as if there had been a large number of 
buildings at one time on this island for foundations, 
and here and there a defined enclosure appears 
everywhere amidst the rank grass which clothes 
the ground. 

Lough Currane stretches far into the deep Glen- 
more, and a stream joins it at the head coming from 
the smaller Lough Isknagaheny or Coppul Lake. 
The main feeder of the lake, however, is the 
Cummeragh River, which, rising in the Derryana 
and Cloonaghlin lakes, flows S.W. to join Lough 
Currane at its northern end. 

II. Waterville to Glencar by the Balloughi- 
sheen Pass, This journey is by general consent so 
well worth making that no excuse need be offered 
for recommending it to notice. On leaving Water- 
ville by the road which goes direct to Cahirciveen, 

1 20 



WATERVILLE 

the chapel of Spunkane is reached, 2 m. distant 
from Waterville. At this point the road which 
turns to the R. at R. angles to the Waterville- 
Cahirciveen road and leads almost straight for 
the distant hills in the E. should be followed. 
About 7 m. from Spunkane Chapel the road 
commences to ascend the slope, and the hills seem 
as though they were gradually enveloping it. 
Here is the head of the valley of the Inny. A 
mountain bulwark, crossed by the Balloughisheen 
Pass, divides it from the wide valley which, with 
many glens and offshoots, extends eastwards to 
the " Reeks," and forms the great and beautiful 
district of Glencar. Balloughisheen Pass is 997 ft. 
above the sea. On reaching the summit it would 
be well to pause awhile and view the scenery in 
each direction. 

Looking W. across the broad, brown bog-land, 
where the Inny shimmers like a silver thread in the 
sun, you mark the bold headlands of Ballinskelligs 
Bay and the Atlantic beyond. The nearer slopes 
of the mountains, with the gorge torn in the 
side of the hill by winter floods, emphasise the 
distance and give a feeling of space and air 
which is specially impressive. 

Turning to the E. through the gap on the summit 
of the pass, the valley of Glencar is seen lying like a 
map beneath. Beyond the flat russet of the lowland 
rises Carrantuohill (34 14 ft.), and rather to the L., 
the beginning of the woods which mark the head 
of Caragh Lake and Glencar. The woods around 
Glencar, however, cannot be seen from the summit 
of the pass, the shoulder of Knocknagapple blocking 
the view. At first the road descends somewhat 
abruptly, but after half-a-mile the descent is gradual 

121 



KERRY 

and the surface of the road good. About 2 m. 
from the top of the pass, Colly Mountain (2238 
ft.) will be seen on the L. at the head of a glen. 
Onwards the road leads ever down hill ; over 
two pretty bridges and round many a turn, 
which gives a glimpse into the depths of vari- 
ous glens, till at last the bridge of Bealalaw is 
reached, 4 m. from the head of the pass. 
At this point a road branching off to the R. 
leads to the pass of Balloughbeama, and thence 
to Kenmare, described in Chapter VII. of this 
Guide ; whilst the one on the L. over the 
bridge goes up by the schoolhouse of Cirrochbeg, 
and on eventually to Killorglin or Killarney. 
At this point a turn to the L. leads past the 
gates of Glencar Hotel, and on to a cross-road 
where stands a small public-house (2 m. from 
Bealalaw Bridge. Here four roads meet. That 
on the R. goes by Acoose Lake to either Kil- 
larney or Killorglin; that on the L. to Lickeen 
Bridge and over the Windy Gap to Glenbeigh, 
described in Chapter VII. of this Guide ; whilst 
the steep road, the continuation of the one by 
which the traveller came from Bealalaw Bridge, 
leads in many ups and downs and by the sharp 
"Devil's Elbow" to the Caragh Lake. (See 
Chapter VII.) 

Glencar is the name given to all the beautiful 
district of lake and river, of birch, Scots fir, and 
holly woods, which lies in the heart of the moun- 
tains at the head of Caragh Lake. It was all 
the territory of the MacCarthy More in the days 
of old, and from this district some say he took 
his title when Queen Elizabeth raised him to the 
peerage as a rival to the great Geraldine chief; 

122 



WATERVILLE 

others, however, assert that the title had no 
territorial connection, being merely Earl of Clan- 
Carty, corrupted into Clancar. The river at 
Glencar — the Upper Caragh, as it is sometimes 
called — has long been famous for its salmon 
fishing, and the woods around present all the 
appearance of woodcock coverts, but the shooting 
has been spoiled by cattle wandering at will 
through the plantations, and by the want of proper 
preservation. 

III. Water ville to Darrynane, Leaving Water- 
ville by the road which runs due S. through the 
village, and crossing the bridge (| m.) over the 
Currane River, a cross-road is met on the L. hand 
side, a mile from the village. This road leads 
along by the shores of Lough Currane to end in 
the hills at the head of the lake, whence a foot- 
way leads over the heights to Staigue Fort. 
Continuing the journey along the main coast 
route for a distance of 300 yards, four huge stones 
are seen standing upright on a slight rise on the 
L. hand side. This group of prehistoric monu- 
ments, which are said to have belonged to the age of 
the Druids, or to the mystic age of the heroes of 
Erin, in later days marked the place where Mass 
was said. These four " gallauns " or upright 
stones go by the name of ** Tempul na Cuillah." 
Half-a-mile farther on, the road bends to the 
R. and crosses a bridge over a httle mountain 
streamlet, the Finglass, issuing from a dark 
" Coom," at the far end of which a waterfall 
is seen in rainy weather. The same or a similar 
legend appertaining to Curoi of Daire and Blanaid, 
which has been given in the chapter on Dingle, 
attaches to this river (see Chapter IX.). 

123 



KERRY 



1 



The road from this point gradually rises and 
opens out fine views of the bay of Ballinskelligs 
and Bolus Head, the northern point of the main- 
land, with the Great Skellig Rock, rising out of 
the sea 12 m. distant. When the little chapel 
of Lohar (3 m.), standing on the heights over 
the bay, is passed on the R. hand side, the 
small Skellig opens out beyond Bolus Head, and 
as the road gradually ascends the mountain, the 
grandeur of the scenery becomes more impressive. 
About 4 m. from Waterville, and when nearing the 
head of the Coomakista Pass, a rough bridle path 
on the L., called " O'Connell's Ride," is passed. 
By this track the "Liberator^' was wont to 
travel when journeying from Cahirciveen to his 
home at Darrynane. 

Shortly after passing this green footway and 
going for a quarter of a mile, the highest point of 
Coomakista Pass is attained, and a view opens to 
the S. which is hard to describe in words. The 
suddenness with which it breaks on the traveller, 
and the beauty of it, baffle adequate description. 
Far to the S. lies the long line of the SHeve 
Miskish Mountains in County Cork, part of the 
southern boundary of the Kenmare River, ending 
in the promontory of Dursey Head and the 
*' Bull " and '' Cow '' rocks pushing out still 
farther into the ocean. Nearer, and extending 
almost to the base of the hills, is a varied and 
beautiful bit of coast - line, comprising the bay 
and islands of Darrynane, where, on a rocky 
point amidst wind-blown sand dunes washed by 
the sea, stands the little ruined church and 
monastery of St Finan. 

The islands of Deenish and ScarifF stand boldly 

124 



WATERVILLE 

out to the W., and smaller islets, the "Two 
Headed Island" and Moylaun, break the full 
force of the waves before the sands of Darry- 
nane are reached. Lamb's Head bounds this 
attractive bit of coast on the S. The warm 
colour of the rocks and heathery slopes makes 
a fine bit of contrast with the blue of the sea 
and the white foam around the rocks and cliffs. 

(i) Darrynane, The road from the summit 
of this pass opens out view upon view as the traveller 
descends the southern side, till about 2 m. from 
the highest point a branch road to the R. leads 
down a sharp incline, amidst a mass of hollies, 
birches, and oaks, to Darrynane, the home of 
Daniel O'Connell, Esq,, the grandson of the 
great Liberator. The house, sheltered by the 
wooded slopes on the N., stands on a slight rise 
overlooking the sandhills and the bay, a pleasant 
situation, which combines wood and mountain and 
sea with the ever-engrossing interest which per- 
tains to a spot where most things will grow— 
bamboos. New Zealand flax. Arum lilies, and 
many varieties of shrubs, which less favoured 
places can only keep alive with difficulty, flourish 
here. In the gardens, which seem to mingle with 
the surrounding woods, is shown the caves where 
the smugglers in old days hid their treasure. A 
mile away to the W., along the road which 
leads past the entrance gates of Darrynane, is the 
sheltered little harbour where many a good cargo of 
claret and silk was landed from France, and where 
the smugglers' craft were able to play hide-and-seek 
with the revenue cutters. 

" Abbey Island " — an island now no longer, 
being connected with the mainland by silted sand — 

125 



KERRY 

lies close to the harbour, and a visit from this point ! 
should be made to the ruined abbey of St Finan. 
On this island, as well as on the neighbouring hills ■ 
near Darrynane, the rare plant *^ Simethis bicolor " ■ 
18 to be found. The abbey presents a good ex- 
ample of the early Christian architecture of Ireland. 
But there are evidences that the church and the 
monastic buildings were built at different periods. 
Darrynane, in Irish " Doire Fhionain," means 
*' St Finan's Oak Wood," and the proper 
spelling of the present name is Darrynane, St 
Finan, the patron saint of this part of the 
country, has been described as "the Sun of Virtue 
and Sound Doctrine, sending his rays far and near 
over this island of Saints," and his memory is per- 
petuated in this lone ruin as well as in the ruined 
church on the island in Lough Currane, near Water- 
ville, and in " St Finan's Bay " and " St Finan's 
Glen," all within the area of Ballinskelligs and 
Darrynane. This abbey was at one time in the 
occupation of the Austin Canons Regular, and 
possibly the present pile of buildings was of this 
later period, occupying the same site as an 
earlier foundation bearing the name of the saint. 
Returning past the entrance gates of Darrynane, 
the road to Caherdaniel may be followed direct 
along the foot of the hills [2^ m.), or, by ascend- 
ing the steep incline, by the main road. The latter 
is rather a roundabout way, but presents the attrac- 
tion of somewhat more extended views. 

Caherdaniel, Caherdaniel consists of a small 
cluster of houses with a church on a rise over a 
river, and surrounded by beautiful fuchsia hedges. 
The village stands at the entrance of a semicircle of 
hills facing the S., and takes its name from an old 

126 



WATERVILLE 

fort or " caher," situated about a mile W. of the 
village, on the R. hand side of the main road 
from Waterville. This old "caher" is said to 
be Danish by some people, but it presents an 
exactly similar appearance to the forts of " Caher 
Gal" and " Staigue," which are now believed to 
belong to the period of Irish history just prior to 
the Christian era. 

IV. Caherdaniel to Sneem, Before leaving 
the neighbourhood of Caherdaniel it would 
be well to visit the peninsula which runs out to 
Lamb Head, and forms the southern boundary 
of the pretty secluded bay of Darrynane. 
A quarter of a mile S. of Caherdaniel village 
a road branches off from the main road and 
leads along the N. side of this promontory. 
For a mile and a half it is possible to bicycle, 
after which the journey must be made on foot. 
This road affords a particularly good view of 
Darrynane, sheltered by its wooded slopes, of 
Scarifl and Deenish islands, and the cliffs and sea. 
It is so short a way out of the main route, and is 
so pleasing a diversion, that it must be recom- 
mended to all visitors. Recently a good many 
specimens of copper ore have been found on this 
peninsula. Rejoining the main road once more, 
and leaving the Presbytery on the right, a slight 
descent leads to the bay of Glenbeg, with a 
sugar-loaf shaped mountain on its E. side (2 m.) 
called Peakeen. 

Across the Kenmare River from this point are 
seen the Slieve Miskish Mountains in County 
Cork, the chief points, noting them from the 
W,, being Knockagallaun (1242 ft.), Knock- 
gour (1580 ft.), Knockoura (1610 ft.), and 

127 



KERRY 

Miskish (1272 ft.), the latter being just a little 
W. of a line drawn over Kilcatherine Point to 
the white houses which mark the neighbourhood 
of Eyries, on the S. side of Ken mare River. 
It was in the little cove of Glenbeg, or as it is 
called sometimes '* Rath Strand," that Partholan, 
one of the very early invaders of Ireland, landed 
when the world was young — the " Annals of the 
Four Masters" puts the age of the world at 
2520 years — and that means that Partholan came 
with his warriors 1000 years before the Milesians. 
However true all this may be, legend points still 
to the spot where the first reconnoitring boat's 
crew put to shore ; and the cove goes by the name 
of the " inlet of the boat's crew " to this day. 

Legend further states that a party of Partholan's 
men went along the shores to find a landing-place 
for the rest of the host, and from the next cove to 
Glenbeg they waved branches of trees to their 
comrades to signify that a suitable place had 
been found, and this cove is called in Celtic to 
the present time the *^cove of the branches." 
But each one must gather the legends of 
this interesting county for himself, and it will 
greatly add to the pleasure of a tour in Kerry. 
Continuing along the road for a mile, the rock 
and islet-studded inlet of '* West Cove " is seen, 
near which place it is said a fight occurred between 
Cromwell's soldiers and the Irish. A road turning 
to the L. leads by a gradual ascent to the Chapel 
of Coad, which can be seen on the hill slope to 
the L. This little ruin is dedicated to St Crohane, 
who is the patron saint of this particular locality. 
There is nothing very interesting about the ruin, 
which is on the same plan as most of the early 

128 



WATERVILLE 

Christian churches at Ballinskelligs and Darrynane. 
The piscina arch is formed of two flat stones, 
pointed, and extremely rude. The E. window 
has a slab of stone, cutting it in half in the form of 
a cross. The graveyard is badly kept, and skulls 
and bones in niches present a gruesome appearance. 
Near the W. end of the church a huge ash tree 
shades a holy well. Returning to the main road 
once more, and going direct E. for a mile and a 
half, the little village of Castle Cove is reached, 
consisting of a few houses. 

Staigue Fort is seen far up in a glen on 
the L. (i|^ m.). This celebrated building can 
be visited en route to Sneem from this point. 
The name Staigue is said to be derived from 
*' Staic," which is equivalent to " Stack '^ or 
*' Reek.'' This fort has been attributed to the 
Phoenicians — this, however, is doubtful, and it is 
much more likely to be of the same period, and 
connected with the same legendary history as the 
forts of similar construction to be found in other 
parts of Ireland — the period which saw the end 
of the heroic age and the dawn of the Christian era. 
Staigue Fort stands on a commanding eminence 
between 400 and 500 ft. over the sea. It lies in a 
sort of amphitheatre of high hills open to the sea 
on the S. side, and about ij m. from the main 
road. Its walls are 18 ft. high at the N. and 
S. sides, and 12 ft. thick at the base, and 7 ft. 
thick at the top. The "fort" is 89 ft. in diameter. 
No one can fail to be struck with the mas- 
sive masonry and the perfect building of this 
fort, and it is justly regarded as one of the most 
interesting archaeological remains in Ireland. 
From the point where the road to Staigue 

I 129 



KERRY 

branches ofF, the main route to Sneem continues 
for another 2 m. along by the sea, then turning 
N.E. runs inland for 4 m. through a pretty varied 
highland country to the pass of Beaulameana. 
Here a fine view opens of wild highland country. 
The points of Coomcallee and Knocknagantee 
rise on the L. front, and eastwards, down in the 
valley, can be seen the little town of Sneem. 
Four miles of good road, all down hill, leads to 
the village, with its beautiful bridge, and campanile 
of the chapel reminding one of an Italian village. 

Waterville, by Glemnore and the Mountains^ 
to Staigue Fort and Sneem. A delightful 
excursion may be made by driving or walking due 
E. along the southern shore of Lough Currane, 
past the Arbutus Rock and Cappamore to the 
Upper Lake, called Coppul or Isknagahiny, 
and then by a poorly defined bridle-path across 
the hills to Staigue Fort. The whole distance 
covered by this expedition would be 7| m. 
It would be well to send a car round by the 
Coomakista Pass to meet the tourist at Castle Cove 
village, i|^ m. from Staigue Fort. 

Castle Cove. The village of Castle Cove 
takes its name from an ancient tower which 
stands unfinished by the edge of the sea. 
The story goes that long ages ago a man and 
his wife lived in the glen leading to Staigue Fort. 
The lady, being ambitious, wished to have a 
" castle " to live in, such as others greater than 
she possessed in the old Kingdom of Kerry. Her 
husband resisted all her entreaties, deeming the 
more humble dwelling adequate for their wants. 
On one occasion, however, he went off on a 
foray or an excursion of some kind, and his wife 

130 



WATERVILLE 

set to work and built what still is seen of the 
Castle at the Cove. When she had almost 
finished the work her husband returned, and, 
in a rage at having been outwitted, he for- 
bade another stone being laid on the building, 
and so it has remained in its present state. 
All this happened some 300 years ago, and the 
names of the people whom this legend connects 
with the castle are not known. A curious thing 
about the building is the appearance of there 
having been a gable-ended building attached to 
the tower. This is, however, only a peculiarity 
of the structure. 

Waterville to Sneem over the Mountains, 
To those who are fairly good walkers, and able to 
find ill-defined out-of-the-way tracks over the hills, 
there are attractions in this route. A road leads from 
Waterville along the S. shore of Lough Currane and 
along by Isknagahiny Lake to the heart of Glenmore. 
At the head of the latter lake the road crosses 
a streamlet, and becomes Httle more than a rough 
cart track leading to a couple of farm-houses 
surrounded by fuchsia hedges. The hills form a 
complete amphitheatre at this point, and to the S, 
present a forbidding appearance to travellers. 
Bare inclined ledges of rock seem to afford no 
way for a traveller to cross the ridge ; but a small 
gap will be noted in the range to the S., and a 
scarce noticeable footway leads by scaur and stream 
to the summits. The ridge is narrow, and once on 
the top Sneem is seen 4 m. away to the vS.E., and 
the descent to the main road, near Beaulameana 
Pass, is easily accomplished. 



131 



KERRY 



CHAPTER V 



CAHIRCIVEEN 



This little town of 2000 inhabitants is said to de- 
rive its name from Sabina, or Sive, a daughter of the 
great chieftain Owen More, Cathair Saidhbhin, 
or Cahirciveen, meaning the castle or fort of 
Sabina, or Sive. It stands on the shore of the 
in-wash from Valencia Harbour, and under the 
shadow of Bentee (1245 ft.), which rises somewhat 
abruptly on the S. side of the town. 

Approaches. ( i ) The line of rail from Caragh 
Lake affords pretty views of the river Caragh on 
the L. till Dook's Station is reached. To the 
N.E. of this station, and 2 m. distant, are the golf 
links, amidst the sand dunes which fringe the shores 
of Castlemaine Bay. The next station going W. 
is Glenbeigh, famous for many years past for its 
comfortable sportsman's hotel and the sea-bathing 
to be obtained at Rossbeigh, 3 m. to the W. 
From Glenbeigh the railway line gradually as- 
cends the partially wooded slope of Behy Mountain, 
which forms the northern boundary of the broad 
valley of Glenbeigh, the Behy River being on the 
L. hand. The old mail-car road runs on the far 
side of the stream as it is looked at from the train 
towards the head waters, and crosses it 3 m. from 
Glenbeigh to touch the railway line at " Mountain 
Stage " Station. The Behy River rises in the 
semicircle of mountains which form the western 
end of the Glenbeigh Valley. The highest points 
of these mountains regarded from the train, and 
beginning from the left, are as follow: — 

132 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

Beenreagh, 1628 ft.; Maclaun, 1998 ft.; Knock- 
naman, 1835 ft.; Coomacarrea, 2541 ft.; Mullagh- 
nacakill, 2182 ft.; Been Hill, 2199 ft.; and 
Drung Hill, 2104 ft., the latter being on the 
extreme N. end of the amphitheatre overlooking 
''Mountain Stage '^ Station and the waters of 
Dingle Bay. 

In the folds of these hills, and hidden from road 
and railway, are three lakes of great beauty — 
Coomasaharn, under the shadow of Coomacarrea 
Mountain ; Coomaglaslaw and Coomacronia, under 
the steep slopes of Mullaghnacakill and Been Hill. 
A tramp across the bog land and small pastures 
from "Mountain Stage'' (3 m.) will reveal the 
beauties of these lonely loughs to the traveller. 
From the last-named station the line of railway 
gradually descends an incline aloiig the face of the 
hills overhanging the cliffs, where the sea breaks in 
white foam, and affords an extraordinarily fine view 
of Dingle Bay and the whole range of mountains 
from the Blasket Islands, far off in the W., to 
Caherconree, away to the E. of the Dingle pen- 
insula. It is worth making a journey to Cahirciveen 
on a fine day for the sole purpose of seeing this view. 
Four miles of this sea, cliff, and mountain scenery 
are passed before the train swings S. at the point 
where the Coast Guard Station and sheltered 
harbour of Kells are seen below on the right. 
The woods around the home of Mr Ponsonby 
Blennerhassett give a pleasing variety to the 
moorland scene which meets the view. In 
these woods the tree ferns grow luxuriantly. 
Inland and upwards the line now trends to Kells 
Station, where the broad valley of the Ferta opens 
out on the L., and Knocknatubber rises 2267 ft. 

133 



KERRY 

on the R. Seven miles of an incline down the 
N. side of the Ferta Valley brings the traveller 
to Cahirciveen. The imposing edifice near 
the railway station, bringing to mind a Border 
keep, is the barrack of the Royal Irish Con- 
stabulary, built after the Fenian days of 1867. 
The great church which stands high, and 
with its attendant convent dominates the town, 
was built by the donations of the Catholic 
people throughout the world to perpetuate the 
memory of the " Liberator," Daniel O'Connell, 
whose efforts secured Catholic emancipation. 
This great church, though unfinished, is well 
worth a visit, and a stranger will find a courteous 
welcome if he wishes to see examples of the 
beautiful knitting and lace-work which is carried 
on under the supervision of the Sisters in the con- 
vent school close to the church. 

(2) Another way of approaching Cahirciveen is 
by way of Waterville, a route described elsewhere 
in this Guide when dealing with the journey from 
Cahirciveen to Waterville (Chapter IV.). 

Cahirciveen to Valencia, Two miles to the 
W. of the town by rail, and two and a half by 
road, lies Valencia Harbour, a small collection of 
houses where a ferry-boat awaits passengers to con- 
vey them to Valencia Island. A description of 
Valencia Island, and the points of interest thereon, 
will be found further on in this Guide (Chapter 
VI.), and it is unnecessary to refer to that excursion 
here. 

Cahirciveen to Ballycarbery Castle and 
CahergaL Those who care for old historical 
buildings will find a visit to the above places ex- 
tremely interesting. Crossing the bridge, near the 

134 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

Constabulary Barrack, over the estuary of the Ferta, 
where the tides hurry and boil in their passage, the 
road rises for a quarter of a mile till a cross-road is 
met. The traveller should take the road to the L., 
which leads down hill for a mile. In front, as he 
proceeds, will be seen a massive pile standing out, 
gaunt and lonely, over the shallow tidal arm of the 
harbour. This is Ballycarbery Castle, built some 
time in the 15th century, and for a long time one 
of the chief strongholds of the MacCarthy More. 
A Carberry O'Shea is said to have built the 
castle, and from his family it passed to MacCarthy 
More, and after that to the O'Connells, in whose 
possession it still remains. Up to the time of Queen 
Elizabeth it was regularly inhabited. Then war and 
evil days came and the castle was left desolate. 
But tradition says it was occupied again in the 
days of Cromwell, and that the forces of the Lord 
Protector battered it into its present condition with 
guns from the tide way, which flows up to within a 
short distance of the outer walls. The O'Connells 
were hereditary constables of this old keep, and 
from the following story appear to have been fairly 
independent of their overlord, MacCarthy More. 
When "fosterage" was the custom in Ireland, 
carried on in spite of all forbidding laws, the chief 
of the clan MacCarthy sent the usual cradle to 
Ballycarbery by a messenger. This was the hint 
to the O'Connells to send for the child of the 
chief to " foster.'' But in place of sending for the 
child the O'Connell sent the head of the messenger 
back in the cradle, and this led to trouble and to 
one of the hereditary constables being hanged by 
the angry MacCarthy More. Such is the story. 
The wall which originally contained the inner 

135 



KERRY 

building, forming a sort of courtyard, is in parts in 
a good state of preservation, and is built of massive 
masonry. The old gateway in the main build- 
ing displays the narrow slit for the portcullis. 
In some of the windows parts of the old muUions 
remain which have the appearance of latter 15th- 
century architecture. The stone domed roofs of 
the upper chambers contain curious openings pierced 
through the masonry — possibly for ventilation. 
The whole building presents a picturesque and 
imposing appearance, and is a fine example of the 
architecture of the period of Irish history to which 
it belongs. 

Cahergal. A few fields to the N. of the old 
castle of Ballycarbery stands the fort of Cahergal 
or Cahergel — meaning either the '*fort of the 
stranger '' or the "white fort," according as " gal " 
or " gel " is accepted as the terminal. Next to 
Staigue Fort, which is dealt with in another part of 
this Guide, this building presents perhaps the most 
perfect example of the dry wall masonry to be found 
in Kerry. Circular in shape, the wall measures 
14 ft. in height in places, and is 18 ft. in thickness. 
The diameter of the fort is 86 ft. As regards 
the age of this building, it is believed to be one 
of those " cahers " which mark the highest point 
of the Irish heroic age which extended down to the 
first century of the Christian era. Almost all 
these forts are connected with the heroes who 
formed the Knights of the Red Branch and 
surrounded Connor M*Nessa, much in the way that 
the Knights of the Round Table surrounded King 
Arthur. When Christianity came to the island 
the early missionaries, in most instances, were 
welcomed by the chiefs, and within these sombre 

136 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

walls were built the churches and cells of the holy 
men. 

Returning from Cahergal to the cross-road be- 
fore mentioned above the bridge at Cahirciveen, a 
pleasant bicycle ride may be enjoyed by following 
the road which leads E. (3 m.) to the creek 
of Coonana, at the foot of Knocknatubber, a little 
fishing haven named according to legend after the 
mother of the hero Finn M'Coul. Here it is said 
that '^ Conn of the hundred battles " fought many 
a fight in days of old. Knocknatubber (2266 ft.) 
rises on the R. of the small harbour, and beyond, 
across the bay, can be seen the hills around Dingle. 
At the foot of Knocknatubber, and a short mile 
from the harbour of Coonana, is a holy well from 
which the mountain takes its name. A clear stream 
of water gushes out of the hill side, widening into 
a natural basin and falling over a little shelving ledge 
on its passage to the broader stream and the sea. 
From this holy well a line of crosses marking the 
" Stations of the Cross ^' leads by a rugged, ill- 
defined route to the summit of Knocknatubber, 
where stands a large rood against the sky. These 
" Stations of the Cross " were put up by the late 
parish priest of Cahirciveen. The return journey 
from Coonana can be made by way of Deelis 
Bridge, which crosses the Ferta River 3 m. from 
Cahirciveen N.E. 

(3) Cahirciveen to St Finan's Glen and 
Ballinskelligs. Though this attractive tour can 
be made equally well from Waterville, it is here 
given as a possible excursion from Cahirciveen. 
Journeying along the main road towards Water- 
ville for 2 m., a bridge is crossed and a branch road 
leads to the R. Following this road for ^ m. and 

137 



KERRY 

turning to the L., at the first cross a gradual incline 
leads along the slope of low hills, past a small 
bit of plantation, to the summit of a pass from 
which a fine view is obtained looking N. of 
Brandon and Mount Eagle with just a glimpse of 
Dingle Bay over the expanse of Valencia Harbour. 
A good road down the far side of the pass opens up 
a view of Ballinskelligs Bay, with Hog's Head 
and ScarifF Island to the S.W., and beyond these 
points, and far away in the distance, is Dursey 
Island and the Bull and Cow Rocks, standing 
well out seaward. Three miles more of a good 
road leads to the pass of Emlagh, at which point 
it is well to pause and view the land once more. 
Eastwards and far away are seen the points of 
Carrantuohill and Beenkeragh and the line of the 
Dunkerron Mountains to Knockaline, at the base of 
which, and seen like a streak of silver, lies Lough 
Currane. Waterville village, on the shores of 
BaUinskelligs Bay, can be clearly discerned on 
what is called the '' hither" side of the lake. 

Turning to the N., St Finan's Bay is seen 
beyond the glen called after the same saint. 
The N. side of this bay is blocked by Puffin 
Island, and out to sea and W. of Puffin lie the 
Great Skellig (Skellig Michael) and the Lesser 
Skellig Island, the latter from this particular 
point being in direct line with the former, and 
hence not seen so distinctly. The road descends 
from the pass of Emlagh rather abruptly through 
the glen to a bit of sand at a delightful creek. 
Here the road turns back in a loop and begins to 
rise towards the W. in the direction of Ducalla 
Head. At the cross-road (i m. ) take the L. 
hand course (the continuation of the road towards 

^3^ 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

Ducalla Head ends in a cul de sac), and at the head 
of the pass, a half-mile farther on, the Skelligs will 
be seen to great advantage. This road descends the 
southern slope of the hills to Ballinskelligs, meeting 
the main road from that village to Cahirciveen and 
Waterville. At Ballinskelligs a visit should be paid 
to the little Abbey Church standing in ruins on the 
shores of the bay, its eastern foundations washed 
by the tides. It is not known accurately when 
this abbey, dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, 
was founded, but it belonged at one time to the 
Augustine Canons, and tradition says that the monks 
who lived on the Great Skellig Michael came 
hither in later days. Special note should be made 
of the old stone font in the interior of this ruined 
church. 

Most of the abbeys of the period of this one 
seem to have belonged to the Canons of St 
Augustine, and probably date from the coming of 
St Augustine's mission to England to the gradual 
reform of the Celtic Church by the missionaries of 
the better organised and more vigorous Church of 
Rome. It is the period which saw the struggle be- 
tween St Wilfred and St Chad in England, and the 
disputes about the Paschal Feast and the tonsure. 
This would put the establishment of these Augustinian 
abbeys to the period from the end of the 6th to the 
early and middle part of the yth centuries of our 
era. The Augustine missionaries came and im- 
parted fresh life and vigour into the old established 
monastic institutions founded by Celtic saints, and 
brought them into closer connection with the centre 
of Christianity. Munster came under the renovated 
Roman discipline in the early half of the yth century. 
From the very early years of the Christian era 

^39 



KERRY 

there had been groups of isolated Christians in 
Ireland, but it was not until Pope Celestine sent 
Palladius as first bishop that they came under any 
definite rule. After St Patrick's days, the Irish 
Church retained the old method of computing 
Easter, and did not adopt the new method which 
St Hilary, the Pope, had enforced throughout 
the greater part of the Western Catholic Church. 
But when Pope Honorius exhorted the Munster 
Church "not to think their small numbers, placed^ 
in the utmost border of the earth, wiser than all the^ 
ancient and modern churches of Christ throughout 
the world," the bishops of that Church quickly 
accepted the Roman reforms. 

Near the village of Ballinskelligs is the well 
of St Michael (i|^ m. E.), where a «' pattern " or 
festa in honour of the saint is held each 
year. 

Hard by the old abbey on a low sandspit stands a 
ruined castle built to guard the haven. From the 
abbey a fine view of sea and mountain presents itself, 
extending from the Iveragh Mountains along to the 
S.E. to Knockaline, and thence S. by Coomakista 
to Hog's Head and ScarifF Island. A small island 
at the entrance of Ballinskelligs Bay gives shelter 
to a tolerably safe anchorage for the fishing-boats 
which come periodically to these waters. Ballin- 
skelligs possesses a station of the " Direct United 
States " Telegraph Company, and a good hotel 
which, facing S., gets the full benefit of the sun. 
In the sheltered sandy caves near the village fair 
bathing is possible, and few pleasanter localities for 
a sojourn can be imagined than the neighbourhood 
of this bright, clean village, with its interesting 
ruined abbey and its beautiful sea. The return 

140 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

journey to Cahirciveen or Waterville can be made 
by the direct road (12 m.). 

Cahirciveen to St Finan's Glen via Port" 
magee. The visit to St Finan's Glen, which has 
been described above, might also be made by taking 
the road direct from Cahirciveen to Portmagee 
(11 m. ) . Portmagee is a collection of a few fisher- 
men's houses at the western entrance of Valencia 
Harbour. From this place it is possible to visit the 
Skelligs Rocks on a suitable day in a " Seine boat." 
From Portmagee a road goes S. to the summit of 
a pass (2m.) across the shoulder of Kilkeaveragh 
(1222 ft.). Near the top of the pass, and on the 
R. side of the road, is " Tubbernaspoge," or the 
"well of the bishop," a clear little rill issuing from 
the mountain-side and esteemed the holiest well in 
Kerry. The descent on the far side of the pass, 
which is steep and bad for cyclists, meets the shore 
near St Buonia's Well, in the centre of St Finan's 
Glen. St Buonia is supposed to have been the sister 
of St Patrick. 

Ballinskelligs to Bolus Head and Kildrellig. 
S.W. of the village of Ballinskelligs is Bolus 
Head, the termination of the low ridge of hills 
which shelters the bay of Ballinskelligs on the 
W., and the highest points of which are Cannig 
Mountain (1202 ft.) and Bolus (1330 ft.). 

Kildrellig, A road leads from Ballinskelligs 
to an old signal-station on Bolus Head (3^ m.). 
An old fort is met with 2 m. from BaUinskelligs 
along this road, and at Kildrellig also may be 
seen some old " gallauns," or upright massive 
stones which may have been used as gravestones 
in pagan times. Some of these seem here to 
have been adopted by Christians, and rude in- 

141 



KERRY 

cised crosses surrounded by circles are engraved 
on them. 

Cahirciveen over Balloughisheen Pass, A 
good road leads E. from Cahirciveen past the 
ruined home of the O'Connells, called Carhan, 
a mile distant from the town. The view of the 
bridge and woods at this point is worthy of note. 
Half-a-mile farther on the road from Balloughi- 
sheen inclines to the R. and leads past the 
Workhouse and the prettily situated house called 
*' Srugreena,'' to a flat stretch where a good surface 
makes cycling easy. On the R. hand side on the 
hill slope over the flat bog is the little chapel of 
Srugreena, and a glimpse of sea near Valencia 
adds interest to the somewhat monotonous view. 
A low pass over the hills opens up a fine ex- 
tended view of moorland, and after passing Coars 
Schoolhouse on the L. the road swings to the 
R. and leads down to the valley of the Inny. 
Along this road splendid views are obtained of 
the mountains bounding the southern side of the 
Inny Valley, in the deep <* coums " of which lie 
the beautiful lakes of Derryana, Cloonaghlin, and 
Namona. 

The main trend of this route is S.E. till Lissa- 
tinnig Bridge is reached, when the road meeting 
the main route from Waterville to Balloughisheen 
turns N.E. through patches of oak scrub and by 
flats where osmunda ferns grow luxuriantly to the 
foot of the pass. This pass of Balloughisheen 
has been described in Chapter IV. on Waterville 
district, and little more remains to be said save 
to impress on strangers the beauty and grandeur 
of the scene which may be enjoyed from the 
summit, and which for breadth and fine outline 

142 



CAHIRCIVEEN 

can find few rivals in Kerry. All the way 
down the eastern slope the traveller meets with 
views of extraordinary beauty, and at Bealalaw 
Bridge he can either make his way direct to Glen- 
car and Caragh and Killarney, or, turning sharp to 
the R., pursue the road to Renmare which leads 
over the Balloughbeama Pass. The journey over 
this pass to Kenmare is described in Chapter VII., 
dealing with Caragh and Glencar, and no further 
reference is necessary here. 

Cahirciveen to Waterville, The road be- 
tween the town of Cahirciveen and Waterville 
village is the least interesting of any in the attrac- 
tive S. coast tour, and it is also the least good. 
Pretty views are obtained for the first portion of 
the road of the village of Knight's Town in 
Valencia Island and the harbour of Valencia. 
A long spur from Bentee (1245 ^^0 shoots out 
on the L., round which the road winds slightly to 
Othermony Bridge. At this point a road branches 
off to the right, leading direct to Portmagee, and by 
a branch road over the hills to the glen of St Finan. 
At the cross of Kilpeakan (4 m. from Cahir- 
civeen) a road to the R. leads by Dereen Bridge 
and Emlaghmore Bridge to Ballinskelligs. The 
main road to Waterville shortly afterwards bends to 
the L. for \ m. and then again to the R. in a 5 m. 
straight line for Waterville, which can be seen in 
the distance. On the rising ground near Kineigh 
House a good view is obtained on the L. hand 
of the valley of the Inny. The peak of Colley 
Mountain (2238 ft.) is seen far up the glen, and 
on the R. of Colley is the pass of Balloughisheen. 
On a clear day Carrantuohill forms the farthest 
limit of this view. The S.E. side of the Inny 

143 



KERRY 

Valley is blocked by the mountains beyond Glencar 
and the Derryana lakes, Mullaghanhattin, Beoun, 
Knocknagantee, and Coomcallee. A broad sweep 
of bog land stretches across the valley. After 
crossing the Inny Bridge the road ascends a hill to 
Spunkane Chapel. From here the up-and-down 
road (2 m.) to Waterville can be avoided by 
turning to the R. and making the detour which 
leads by the newly made road nearer the seashore 
to the village. 



CHAPTER VI 

VALENCIA ISLAND 

The Irish name of this island, the most western, if 
we except the Blaskets and Skelligs rocks, of the 
British group, was Bealinnish, or, as some may say, 
" Ballyinch " — the town of the island. Gradually 
and most naturally the name became ^* Valencia,'' 
possibly through the Spanish interference with the 
Irish tongue. The extreme length of the island is 
7 m., and its breadth 2 m. 

Approaches, Valencia can be approached direct 
by the Great Southern and Western railway via 
Farranfore Junction and Cahirciveen, described in 
Chapters V. and VII., to Valencia Harbour, the 
terminus of that line of rail, and thence by ferry- 
boat across the harbour (|^ rn. ) to Knight's Town 
Pier; or (2) by road from Waterville to Valencia 
harbour, 10 m. A change could be made in the 
road route by driving from Waterville to Portmagee 
(13 m.) and crossing there by ferry \ m. to the 

144 



VALENCIA ISLAND 

island side of the strait. But in adopting this 
latter route a conveyance should be sent from 
Knight's Town to Portmagee Ferry, as no cars 
are available at that place. The chief town or 
village on Valencia Island is Knight's Town, 
which is the headquarters of the Anglo-American 
Cable Company, established there at the first laying 
of the cable in the year 1865. Another small 
village called Chapel Town lies midway between 
Knight's Town and Portmagee Ferry, but it pos- 
sesses nothing of interest. 

Valencia Island is particularly interesting as 
affording a most favourable locality for the obser- 
vation of various marine objects of natural history. 
Its climate is mild, and scientific observers say 
that there are there no clearly marked periods of 
either spring or autumn. Season gradually glides 
into season, and frost and snow are seldom known. 
The Gulf Stream brings with its warm current 
various forms of sea-drift and exquisite shells from 
the tropics and the Sargasso Sea, and the study of 
marine life in the waters around the shores of this 
attractive island is of the deepest interest. Valuable 
scientific investigations made by residents, who have 
devoted much time to the study of the natural history 
of Kerry, have been from time to time published 
by the " Department of Agriculture " for Ireland, 
These researches should be read by those who are 
interested in the scientific work, which is making 
great progress in the county at present. The 
tide enters Valencia Harbour at both the E. 
and W. extremity, and these branch tides meet 
in the water-space midway in the harbour. The 
main flood tide runs northwards along the coast 
of Kerry, the chief stream being some 7 m. off 

K 145 



KERRY 

the shores of Valencia. A branch of this main 
tide flows along the shores of the island, dividing as 
before stated, and thence passes up the Dingle Bay. 
The average rainfall at Valencia is 58 in., and 
the island is within the region of winter rains, the 
maximum rainfall being in January and the lowest 
in May. 

With its equable climate and its favoured position 
as regards the Gulf Stream, Valencia in former days, 
some 150 years ago, was regarded as the "Granary 
of the County." To-day, though it cannot be 
regarded in that light, it possesses an attraction 
hard to imagine, and any slight inconvenience 
which may be experienced in crossing the strait 
will be amply repaid by the magnificent views of 
cliff and sea which may be enjoyed from almost 
every point of the island. 

In 1858 Tennyson visited Valencia, when he 
saw some of the highest waves and some of the 
finest cliff scenery in Ireland. As a matter of fact, 
however, the waves which hit the N. and W. of 
Valencia are not as big as those on the coast of 
Mayo. The deep water marked by the 1000- 
fathom line comes nearer to the shores of Mayo, 
and the swell is consequently greater. 

( I ) Knighfs Town to Glanleam and Fogher 
Cliffs. Leaving Knight's Town with its well- 
ordered, comfortable hotel, its substantial houses, 
and its general air of prosperity and comfort, and 
passing the little Anglican church on the L., the 
road runs due N. for J m. towards the mouth of the 
harbour, and then divides into two roads, one lead- 
ing down the slope towards Glanleam, the other 
and higher road, called the Coombe Road, skirting 
the hillside through pretty hanging woods full of 

146 



VALENCIA ISLAND 

honeysuckle and " London Pride," and thence 
leading on to the "slate quarries" and cliffs. A 
rough path leads from the quarries to Reenadrolaun 
Point. Fogher CHff, on the L. hand, towers up some 
700 ft. from the sea, which foams white at its base. 
Here the great rollers from the Atlantic, coming 
in without a break, hit the opposing headlands with 
astounding force, and on a stormy day few finer 
sights than this view from Reenadrolaun can be 
seen. Eastwards the bluff promontory of Doulus 
Head guards the northern approach to Valencia 
Harbour, whilst nearer at hand " Fort Point," 
where the lighthouse stands over the white 
breakers, marks the spot where Oliver Cromwell 
established a fort. 

The " Protector " built his forts at both ends of 
Valencia Island to guard the harbour, and the out- 
lines of the earthworks at " Fort Point " may be 
seen to this day. In the reign of Queen Anne the 
place was much frequented by French privateers, 
as it afforded a very safe refuge. By keeping a 
good lookout the privateer could escape at one 
end of the island if the English cruiser appeared 
at the other — a little plan adopted in later days 
successfully by the daring smugglers who fre- 
quented the coast of Kerry. The celebrated Paul 
Jones is said to have often put into Valencia 
Harbour. From the Fogher Cliffs it is a stiff 
climb to reach the summit of Feaghmaan (880 ft.), 
whence on a clear day the view is unsurpassed. 
Away to the N. and N.N.W. lie the " Foze 
Rocks " and the Blasket Islands, outposts of the 
Empire. That group of irregular-shaped islands, 
seeming from this point of view huddled together, 
consists of Innishvickillane and Innishnabro, with 

147 



KERRY 

the peaked-up Tearaght Rock in the centre. 
Eastwards of these islets lies the Great Blasket, 
and over the strait to the E. of that Dunmore 
Head, Mount Eagle, and Marhin Peak. The far- 
away peak over the low ground E. of Mount Eagle 
is Ballydavid Head, on the northern side of the 
Dingle peninsula. Still further E. are seen the 
heights of Brandon Mountain, rising, as it were, 
from the sea beyond the cliffs of Eske and the 
mouth of Dingle Harbour. On and on to the E. 
hill rises on hill till Caherconree is reached, which 
overlooks the Bay of Tralee on N. side and the 
Bay of Castlemaine on the S. Then let the eye 
take in the nearer view, Valencia Harbour, stretch- 
ing up to Cahirciveen till the narrow silver streak 
is lost in the brown bogs of the Ferta River 
valley. This fine view is backed by hills rising 
gradually to the crinkled points of Carrantuo- 
hill and the mountains by Glencar and Caragh. 
Turning to the S. the range of Dunkerron blocks 
out the view, and here and there, dim beyond that, 
are the Caha Mountains on the southern shore of 
Kenmare River. Nearer at hand is the Bay of 
Ballinskelligs, .whilst more to the W. is Port- 
magee, the point of Puffin Island, and right away 
out at sea the Skelligs Rocks. The return journey 
may be made, if permission is obtained, through 
Glanleam. 

(2) Glanleam. The home of the " Knights 
of Kerry " lies snugly in a hollow, surrounded on 
three sides by wooded slopes, facing the green 
waters of Valencia Harbour and the attractive 
island called Beginish. The house presents a 
modern appearance and possesses no architectural 
interest. In the hall are to be seen a few of 

148 




A :\IOUNTAIN LOUGH 



VALENCIA ISLAND 

Cromwell's cannon shots found at Fort Point. 
The gardens, however, are well worth visiting, 
with their wealth of bamboos, tree ferns, euca- 
lyptus, and fuchsias (one of the latter being the 
largest known). Numbers of rare shrubs and 
plants of all kinds flourish at Glanleam, the 
sheltered situation and the mild climate affording 
special facilities for their growth. Amongst the 
number of shrubs may be noted the scarlet 
flowering Embothrium coccinum, or coral tree. On 
the summit of a green hill to the N. of the house 
stands a beautiful Irish cross, placed there to per- 
petuate the memory of the late Knight of Kerry 
— if indeed any memorial was required to keep alive 
the memory of that chivalrous, gentle " Knight'' who 
still lives in the affections of the people of Kerry. 
Formerly the "Knight of Kerry's Country" 
was in and around Dingle. The wars and changes 
of government through the days of Elizabeth, 
Charles I., and the succeedings reigns brought vary- 
ing fortunes to the Geraldines, and, amongst others, 
was the change from Dingle to Valencia, and now 
" The Grove " and ^' Rahinane Castle," the 
former residences of the " Knights," are almost 
forgotten. 

(3) Round Valencia Island. Another ex- 
pedition may be made from Knight's Town. 
Drive or bicycle out along the road past Chapel 
Town towards the ferry for Portmagee, and thence 
as far as the road v/ill lead towards the W. (6 m.). 
A walk along the hill-side for a mile brings the 
traveller to the old Signal Station, a tower built in 
181 5, at the extreme western point of the island. 
Recently this old building has been taken over by 
the naval authorities for the purpose of forming a 

149 



KERRY 

signal station of the approved modern type. This 
black mass of masonry stands out gaunt against the 
sky overlooking the sea. Cliffs of beautiful colour- 
ing and impressive height are here to be seen, and 
standing on this windy height one feels well-nigh 
at the end of the earth, for only the Skelligs rocks 
lie between these cliffs and the coast of America. 
Headlands, all foam-lashed, mark the shores to 
the S., and the air blowing in from the Atlantic is 
most inspiring. The return journey to Knight's 
Town may be made by the upper road through 
the centre of the island, which comes round by the 
slate quarries and Glanleam. 

(4) Beginish Island and Church Island in 
Valencia Harbour. A quarter of an hour by boat 
brings the traveller to the island called Beginish, 
situated right in the waterway of Valencia Harbour. 
Here may be seen some curious basaltic formation 
of rock similar to that found at the Giant's Cause- 
way, in Antrim. With the exception of the ridge 
of basalt to be seen in the gorge to the S. of Lough 
Guitane, near Killarney, this is the only instance of 
basaltic formation in Kerry. A charming strand 
and good bathing places are found on Beginish, 
and if the sea is calm a visit may be made 
to the caves in the cliffs, which end in Doulus 
Head, on the main shore, N. of Valencia Harbour. 
Church Island is a very small island lying S. of 
Beginish, and is chiefly interesting as possessing an 
old ruined church and beehive cell, said to have 
been founded by St Finan, and probably of the 
same date as the church and cells in the Skelligs 
Rocks. A curious old grave, with basaltic corner- 
stones let into the soil, is worth observing. 

Valencia to the Skelligs Rocks* Visitors to 

150 



VALENCIA ISLAND 

Valencia, Cahirciveen, or Waterville should make 
a special point of trying to visit the Skelligs Rocks. 
It is not always an easy thing to achieve, and 
needless to say calm weather is essential to the en- 
joyment of an excursion. A strait of 12 m. wide 
lies between the great *^ Skellig Michael " and the 
mainland, and perhaps the best way to approach 
both the islands is by a ten-oared " Seine " from 
Portmagee. About two hours is an average 
passage. 

The Great Skellig—or " Skellig Michael "— 
has been called " the most western of Christ's for- 
tresses in the ancient world,'' and it has the 
distinction of being the farthest W. of all the 
islands in the British group, except the Tearaght 
Rock. Like Mont St Michel in France and St 
Michael's Mount in Cornwall, the Great Skellig 
was formerly the site of a religious foundation 
dedicated to the archangel St Michael. The well- 
preserved remains of the cells and chapel of this 
lonely monastery can be seen to this day, and it 
is their existence which makes the journey to the 
Skelligs so interesting. Compared with the splendid 
buildings on Mont St Michel, these plain, rough 
stone edifices look poor indeed. But they impress 
the beholder far more by their very simplicity. 
Legend has it that Ir, son of Milesius, was 
buried here ; that the ships of Daire harboured 
here on their way to the great Battle of Ventry ; 
that in 823 one of the monks named Eitgall 
perished here of hunger and thirst. It is also said 
that King Olaf Tryggoeson, of Norway, was here 
baptised. Giraldus Cambrensis mentions the Skellig 
Michael in the following passage : — 

^' In the southern part of Munster, in the neigh- 

^51 



KERRY 

bourhood of Cork, there is an island with a 
church dedicated to St Michael, famed for its 
orthodox sanctity from very ancient times. 
" There is a stone outside the porch of this 
church on the right hand, and partly fixed in the 
wall, with a hollow in its surface, which every 
morning, through the merits of the saint to whom 
the church is dedicated, is filled with as much 
wine as will conveniently sufiRce for the service 
of the Masses on the day ensuing, according to 
the number of priests there are who have to 
celebrate them." 

Probably the ancient monastery continued to be 
inhabited long after the foundation of Ballinskelligs 
on the mainland, and was resorted to as a place 
of pilgrimage and penance for many a long year. 
The landing-place is at a comparatively sheltered 
spot on the E. side of the island, near the mouth 
of a great cave, and in rough weather the aid of 
a " derrick " is required. From the landing-place 
a good roadway leads up to the lighthouse, ^ m. 
(built about the year 1854). This lighthouse is 
175 ft. over the sea, and has a light of 2500 
candle-power. A more powerful modern light will 
soon replace this old one. Half-way along the 
roadway a flight of rude steps leads to a grassy 
miniature valley between two peaks, where sea- 
pinks and beautiful ''rose root" i^Sedum rhodiola) 
grow in profusion. This is called " Christ's Saddle," 
and is 422 ft. above the sea. More steps lead up 
towards the eastern peak, and then a little flagged 
pathway leads to the Beehive huts and oratories, 
which form the monastic buildings of Skellig 
Michael. It would be impossible to describe the im- 
pressions which will be made on all who stand within 



VALENCIA ISLAND 

this little enclosure, and sees the cell in perfect repair, 
as though left only yesterday; the small ruined 
chapel, with its E. window looking towards the 
mainland of Ireland ; and the graveyard where the 
sea -pinks and rose root cover the graves, and 
creep round the rude crosses which mark the 
resting-places of forgotten saints. 

In spring and summer the whole place is alive with 
birds, which are tame through the protection of years. 
The pathway and rude stone stairs, which lead 
to the summit of the Skellig Michael, seem to 
have formed the " Way of the Cross " for pilgrims 
in old days, and weather-beaten, worn, upright 
stones appear to this day to represent the form of 
crosses standing out against sky and sea, keeping 
still the memories connected with this once holy 
isle. 

A strange story is sometimes to be heard in 
the neighbouring mainland of music which is 
said to issue from the monastery at night time. 
Many years ago a custom prevailed in Kerry 
of issuing what was called a " Skelligs List," 
containing the names of the young men and 
maidens who had not married at " Shrove Tide." 
Should a young person not be married by Shrove 
Tuesday, he or she was said to " go to the Skelligs." 
The origin of this saying was probably due to 
the following fact. When the Roman com- 
putation of Easter, introduced to the Western 
Church by St Hilary, found its way to Ireland 
in the yth century, Munster at once accepted it. 
More of the out-of-the-way places, however, 
adhered for a long time to the old Celtic method 
of computing the time of the Paschal Feast, 
and amongst these places the Skellig Michael. 

153 



KERRY 

The Celtic method brought Easter a month 
later than the newer rule of St Hilary, and- 
hence Lent began earlier on the mainland than on 
the Skellig Rock. It followed that if a couple 
had not married on the mainland on Shrove Tues- 
day they had to " go to the Skelligs " if they 
wished to be married before Lent began. 

The Lesser Skellig has no monastic buildings. 
It is a bare rock famous as the building-place 
of the gannet or solan goose {^Sula bassana). 
Enormous numbers of these birds have their 
nests here, and the sight in summer time is 
marvellous, when a gun fired near the rock fills 
the air with beautiful white wings. The journey 
to the Skelligs is perhaps most feasible when an E. 
wind blows off the land, but from whichever 
way the wind comes settled weather is essential. 



CHAPTER VII 

CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

Approaches, This beautiful lake can be ap- 
proached (i) from Tralee (20 m.) or Killarney 
(20 m.) by train, going from Farranfore Junction ; 
(2) by train, also going from Cahirciveen (20 m.), 
should the traveller take the southern route along the 
coast on first coming to the county ; ( 3 ) by road from 
Tralee over the shoulder of the Slieve Mish range, 
and on by Castlemaine, Milltown, and Killorglin ; 
(4) by road from Killarney by Beaufort; (5) by 
road from Waterville over the Balloughisheen Pass 
and Glencar (27 m.) : (6) from Kenmare byroad 

154 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

across the Balloughleama Pass, and down through 
Glencar (28 m.). The route by railway from 
Killarney or Tralee via Farranfore Junction, and 
thence down the valley of the Maine River, 
is naturally the quickest and most direct ; and 
as the train stops at Caragh Lake Station, half 
a mile from the beautifully situated hotel, it is the 
most convenient way of approach. The other routes 
have been described elsewhere when dealing with 
excursions to be made from Kenmare, Killarney, 
Waterville, and Cahirciveen ; and it will therefore 
be sufficient here to describe the railway approach. 
The valley of the Maine, which runs W. from 
Farranfore to the head of Dingle Bay, is bounded 
on the N. by the Slieve Mish Mountains, the high- 
est points of which, Bautregaum (2796 ft.) and 
Caherconree (2713 ft.), may be seen on the R. of 
the train. 

On the L. hand side, low hills, wooded in 
places, run from Cordal in the E. to the 
Laune River, where they lose themselves in 
the flats at the base of the high mountains 
and the wilderness of hills which extends thence 
to the coast at Cahirciveen and Waterville. 
Two m. from Farranfore the little station of 
MolahifFe is passed. On the R. of the line at 
this point can be seen, about a mile distant, the 
faint outline of the ruined castle where the first Sir 
Valentine Browne settled himself in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, after the Desmond rebellion- 

The next station, Castlemaine, was formerly an 
important frontier post between '' Kerry " and 
" Desmond " (the two divisions into which the 
present county was formerly split) ; and the castle, 
built on the bridge over the Maine, was held alter- 

yss 



KERRY 

nately by the MacCarthy More and the Desmond 
Geraldines till 1578. In that year the castle, 
which had been dismantled, was rebuilt, and the 
Earl of Desmond petitioned to be granted possession 
again. Lord Burleigh, however, wrote in reply 
saying : " The Council of England doth not think 
it convenient, for sundry good considerations, that 
the said castle be restored to the possession of the 
Earl or of any subject." The frontier fortress was 
far too important to be entrusted to the chief of 
either the Geraldine or MacCarthy More clans, 
and accordingly a Constable was appointed to 
hold it for the Queen of England. 

The first of a long line of Constables was Andrew 
Martyn, who, as we read, was killed by a "cul- 
verin shotte" at the taking of Fort del Ore in 
1580. To him succeeded Thomas Spring, and, 
later on. Sir Warham St Leger, Sir Charles 
Wilmot, and Sir Thomas Roper, afterwards Lord 
Baltinglass. The castle was besieged and taken 
by the Irish in 1641, and held by Daniel 
MacCarthy throughout that war. It was probably 
finally destroyed when Cromwell's soldiers came 
to the W. But the office of Constable of Castle- 
maine went on down to the year 1829, though 
it had for more than a century been a sinecure. 
The only remains of this fortress still to be seen 
are the massive piles of the old bridge which spans 
the tidal waters of the river Maine. 

From Castlemaine a good road leads direct to 
Tralee (10 m.), and a wild old mountain pass 
winds up the steep slope of the Slieve Mish, to 
descend through the beautiful Glounskeehy to the 
same place (7 m.). A road also runs W. by 
Inch to Auniscaul (16 m.), which, though some- 

.56 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

what monotonous, by reason of its straightness, 
affords on a fine day good views of sea and 
mountains. Two m. to the E. of Inch can 
be seen on the right the pretty new house 
belonging to Major John MacGillycuddy, which 
has the advantage of an unrivalled view. The 
railway route, after passing Castlemaine (2 m.), 
leads to Milltown, a sleepy Httle market-town, where 
are the remains of an old abbey called Kilcolman. 
Here is the residence of Sir William Godfrey. 
This abbey of Kilcolman, formerly called the 
Priory of Kylla, must not be confounded with the 
Kilcolman where Spenser dwelt, and dreamed the 
poem of the "Faery Queen." The home of the 
poet was in the county of Cork, not far from 
Buttevant. This Kilcolman Abbey is not very 
remarkable. It can be seen on the L. hand side 
of the railway after passing Milltown Station. 
Kilcolman means the Church of S. Colman. 
This Abbey or Priory is said to have been 
founded by Geoffrey de Marisco, who came over 
with Henry II. in 1172. He also built Castle 
Island Castle, and founded a community of Knights 
Hospitallers in the County Limerick, from which 
fact the place called Hospital takes its name. 

Killorglin. Killorglin, the next station, is a 
small country town pleasantly situated on the banks 
of the Laune, which here broadens out into a wide 
estuary. There is nothing very remarkable about 
this little town. A bit of the old castle, said 
to have been founded by the Knights Templars, 
still stands near the W. end of the fine stone 
bridge which spans the river ; and the newly built 
Roman Catholic church, which is a conspicuous 
object on the hill, is well worth visiting, the 

157 



KERRY 

marble in the interior being of excellent quality. 
A thriving salmon fishery is carried on from 
January — when the season opens — till August. 
But perhaps one of the most notable things con- 
nected with Killorglin is the annual fair on nth 
August, called and known far and near as " Puck 
Fair." The origin of the name is said to be due 
to the fact that long ago a solitary " puck " or goat 
was the only animal offered for sale. Great things 
have sometimes small beginnings, and " Puck " 
Fair is no exception to this. At the present day 
hundreds of people attend this fair, and a large 
" puck " or he-goat, profusely decorated, is placed 
on a high platform in the centre of the town. 
Beyond Killorglin a wild bit of land stretches 
away to the L. of the railway, beyond which rise 
the Reeks and Carrantuohill in all their beauty of 
outline. Here and there the bog has been re- 
claimed at infinite labour to form small holdings 
in a '* Congested District." 

On the right of the railway, across another 
dreary waste of bog and stony enclosures, the hills 
of the Dingle peninsula can be seen over a strip of 
Castlemaine Harbour, and then the woods at the 
northern end of Caragh Lake meet the view. 
To the traveller who has never visited this pleas- 
ing locality before, it is as though he had entered an 
oasis in a desert, so different in character does the 
country appear when once the waters of Caragh 
Lake meet the eye. 

(i) Caragh. Half-a-mile from the railway 
station, which lies in the shade of the Scots firs, 
stands Caragh Lake Hotel on a rise at the foot of- 
the lake. The well-planted grounds attached to 
this pleasant house slope to the shore, and a fine 

158 



I 




THE WAY OF THE CROSS, SKELLIG MICHAEL 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

view is obtained of the lake with its background of 
lofty hills. The whole expanse of water cannot be 
seen from this point owing to a bend in the lake, and 
to enjoy thoroughly the first impression of Caragh an 
excursion should be made along the E. shores as 
far as the "Devil's Elbow" (2 m.), where a 
twisting road leaving the shores enters the fastness of 
the hills, and after many windings leads to Glencar. 
It would be hard to describe the scenery of 
Caragh along this pretty route. But to travel this 
road on a fine morning in May or June, when the 
lake is blue between the warm boles of the Scots 
firs and the little holdings clinging to the tops of 
the cliffs, or sheltering in the flats which mark the 
base of some height, are vivid green ; when the 
gorse is a blaze of gold, and the young leaves of 
the silver birches are quivering in the sunshine, 
is to lay up a memory which will last a lifetime. 
The length of Caragh is 4 m. from Lickeen at 
the head to the hotel at the foot of the lake. Its 
breadth is i m. The main feeder of the lake 
is the Glencar River, celebrated for its early 
salmon fishing ; the Lower Caragh River runs from 
the lake to the sea near Dooks, and in former 
days was also a good salmon river. But of late 
years something has marred its fame. On (the 
W. side of the lake is Seefin Mountain, 1621 ft. 
The woods around Caragh are said to have been 
the hiding-place in days of old for Dermot and 
Grania when they fled from their enemies across 
Ireland. 

(2) Dooks (3m.). At this place there are 
good golf links on the sand-hills which extend 
along the shores of Castlemaine Harbour, the 
shallow extreme end of the bay of Dingle. 



KERRY 

(3) Round Caragh Lake by Lickeen and the 
'' Windy Gap.'' Starting from Caragh Lake 
Hotel, and turning to the R. on leaving the 
entrance gate, the high road, which runs by the E. 
shore of the lake, through the birch and pine plan- 
tations which clothe the mountain slopes, should 
be followed till the open land is reached at the 
sharp turn called the ^'Devil's Elbow" (2J m.). 
Looking back from this point the view is ex- 
ceedingly beautiful. The lake lies beneath, closed 
in by the hills, and far away to the N. a glint 
of the sea shows where Dingle Bay lies, and 
beyond that are the lines of the Dingle Hills. 
Upwards the road now goes past pretty farm- 
steads where dogs bark and children's voices calling 
cattle break the stillness of the mountains. 

Then a wild open space of moorland is reached 
where roads branch R. and L. That to the 
L. leads to Killorglin (8 m.), and by a circuitous 
route back to Caragh Hotel. The road to the 
R., crossing a small mountain stream, leads to 
Glencar (4 m. distant). The small lough called 
Cummernamuck, on the L. of the road, down in 
a hollow, is the reservoir of the town of Killorglin. 
This road to Glencar, as it rises up the mountain- 
side, goes by the side of the two loughs of Nakirka 
and Nambrackdarrig on the R. to a pass in the 
hills, 348 ft. above the sea. Along this route 
interesting views are obtained, extending from the 
points of Carrantuohill to Killarney and the faint 
grey hills of East Kerry and Cork. 

From the vicinity of Lough Nambrackdarrig, 
which lies amidst brown moorland, a strange wild 
view of mountain tops and distant sea can be 
obtained. From the head of the pass the road 

160 




WEATHER-WORN CROSS, SKELLIG MICHAEL 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

winds down to the wooded valley of Glencar. 
One mile from the summit of this pass the road 
branches again, the L. hand branch leading to 
Glencar Hotel, the Balloughisheen Pass, Bal- 
loughleama Pass, or Killarney, and that to the R. 
going direct through beautiful birch and Scots fir 
woods to the Bridge of Lickeen, or, as it is called, 
Blackstones Bridge. 

It is worth while to stop at this point, where the 
Glencar River rushes white with foam through the 
dark, warm-coloured rocks, and, if time permits, to 
wander a short distance up the banks of the river to 
enjoy the unrivalled combination of wood and water 
and mountain scenery. A few yards beyond the 
bridge on the R. stands Lickeen House, on the flat 
land which borders the long inlet from Caragh Lake. 
After passing Lickeen House the road partakes 
more of the character of a bridle-path winding and 
rising and falling through a tangle of birch and 
holly trees and mossy boulders covered with ferns. 
It is an attractive journey, particularly in spring- 
time, when the violets and primroses are in flower 
and the woods are full of the songs of birds. 
After about half-a-mile the woods begin to get 
thin, and as the *' Slieve " opens out the road begins 
to rise steeper and steeper up the mountain side 
to the " Windy Gap." There is no missing this 
track, as it can be seen winding clearly up the 
side of the mountain. But it taxes the energies 
to push a bicycle up the rough incline, even 
though ample reward is obtained by the view from 
the summit. Standing in the " Windy Gap," 
1098 ft. above the sea, and looking back across 
the Vale of Glencar, there is a fine view of the 
W. side of Carrantuohill and all the mountains 
L 161 



KERRY 

which form the southern boundary of this lovely 
district. 

Turning N., the upper end of the Bay of 
Dingle lies beneath with the golden sandhills of 
Inch and Glenbeigh fringing the blue water. 
Thick heather clothes the northern slopes of the 
hill and makes a good foreground to the picture. 
The road on the Rossbeigh side of the " Windy 
Gap " has many unexpected and awkward turns 
and dips, and a traveller should not be tempted at 
any part to ride his bicycle down the incline. 
At the foot of the pass on the N. side stands 
the little new Catholic church of Rossbeigh, and 
near it the rather curious edifice of Rossbeigh 
Castle, belonging to Mr Rowland Wynn. Its 
small windows and quaint attempt at imposing 
fortifications are a type of architecture quite out of 
keeping with the age and county in which it has 
been built. At the village of Rossbeigh a turn 
to the L. across the bridge leads to the Lodges 
by the seashore, where excellent bathing and 
sea air can be enjoyed. The river ilowing 
through this valley is the Behy, which rises in 
the deep " coums " far up in the chain of 
mountains to the S.W. 

The journey back (turning to the R. in the 
village of Rossbeigh) to Caragh Lake Hotel (4 m.), 
presents little of interest. Leaving the Glenbeigh 
Hotel on the L., the road leads to the bridge 
over the Caragh River. The branch road to the 
L. on the E. side of the bridge will lead to 
Dooks and the golf links, that on the R. 
direct to Killorglin and the Caragh Lake Hotel. 
The whole distance covered by this journey, which 
has been described, is about 15 m. 

162 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

(4) Glencar, over Balloughheama Pass, to 
Kenmare or Parknasilla, This delightful ex- 
cursion cannot be too favourably recommended. It 
forms one of the easiest and most attractive excur- 
sions in the county. Two miles S. from Glencar 
Hotel is the Bealalaw Bridge over the Upper 
Caragh River, and the road from Balloughheama 
Pass lies on the proper R. of the stream 
from this point, or the L. hand side as the 
traveller looks up the river towards the hills. 
A good road leads through the valley for 2 m., 
where a branch occurs. The road to the L. at 
this point leads into the mountains, and ends in 
a rough mountain track, which climbs the dividing 
ridge between the " Reeks " and the hill, which 
rises 244O ft., in shape like a sugar-loaf, and which 
is called Broaghnabinnia, eventually joining the 
road whieh leads through the Black Valley 
(Coumduv) to Geerameen, that to the R. still 
leading onwards to the Pass of Balloughheama. 
In front is the high peak of Mahanahattin (2539 
ft.), *' The Pass of the Furze," and Beoun Moun- 
tain (2468 ft.), at the base of which, though 
hidden from view by intervening moorland, lie the 
loughs of Cloon and Reagh. 

On the L. the " Reeks" are seen, and Knock- 
abreeda ( 1 8 1 1 ft. ) , v/hich divides Coumduv or the 
Black Valley from the Owenreagh Glen. The 
Owenroe, an affluent of the Upper Caragh River, 
takes its rise in Cloon Lough, and should time 
permit a diversion might be made to the lake shores 
by the old road, which runs by the river side, and 
a note should be made of the fort called MuUa- 
ghallin, which can be seen plainly from the main 
road to Balloughheama Pass. The road towards 

163 



KERRY 

the summit of the pass is so well hidden that 
it is puzzling to tell where it runs in places. 
Here a fold in the ground makes the further 
progress appear impossible, and there a dip in an 
underfeature blots out the traces of the track. 
But as the traveller proceeds along this excellent 
road the way opens out in the most interesting 
manner and reveals bit by bit the beauties of the 
pass. 

The scenery is not so wild as that of the Gap of 
Dunloe, but it has its special charm of solitude, and 
the bleating of sheep hidden away on the steep 
mountain slopes increases the feeling of loneliness. 
The S. side of the pass is of a less wild descrip- 
tion. A view of Loch Brin, with a small bit of plan- 
tation, brings a feeling that one is again within reach 
of civilisation, and as the road descends gradually 
by the Blackwater River the views increase in 
breadth if not in beauty. Far away the woods 
near Dromore and Blackwater Bridge mark 
the shores of Kenmare River, and the blue 
ridge beyond is on the far side of that river. 
Four m. from the head of the pass a bridge 
crosses the Blackwater, and a mile farther on the 
main road between Killarney and Sneem is met. 
Here a sharp turn to the R., past a blacksmith's 
forge and over a bridge, must be made, and imme- 
diately on crossing the bridge another sharp turn to 
the L. leads by the R. bank of the Blackwater 
River to the beautiful old bridge (2 m.), shaded 
by trees, and up to which the tide flows, and which 
is known far and near as " Blackwater Bridge." 
This is a beautiful spot to rest for a time. 

The main road to Sneem from Kenmare crosses 
this bridge, and the woods around Dromore Castle 

1:64 



CARAGH LAKE AND GLENCAR 

afford delightful shade for 3 m. along the road to 
Kenmare. At Blackwater Bridge there is a small 
house on the W. side of the river and a school 
a short distance away. On the E. side of the 
bridge a road leads south for half-a-mile to 
the Coastguard Station, which can be seen 
perched up on the hillside on the L. hand side. 
From this point the road trends E. to Kenmare. 
Another road, leading N. from Blackwater Bridge, 
will take the traveller back by the E. side of the 
river and the main road between Killarney and 
Sneem. A bye-road, or **bohereen," leads from 
Blackwater Bridge (|^ m.) to a pretty cottage 
on the E. bank of the river, where tea may be 
obtained. 

Excursion from Caragh to CoumduVy or the 
** Black Valley,'" The excursion here described 
can be made with ease from Caragh in summer time; 
but fine weather is an essential. The best way to 
undertake the expedition is to drive from Caragh to 
Shanacashel Cross ( 5 J m. ) , and thence past the Glen- 
car Hotel to Bealalaw Bridge (8 m. from Caragh). 
The road from Bealalaw Bridge rounds the edgQ 
of Beenbane Hill, an offshoot of the great Carran- 
tuohill, and thence, having Beendarrig (the highest 
point of which is 1482 ft.) on the L. hand side, 
goes on due E. up the Brida valley for 5 m., 
till it ends in a small collection of cottages at the 
foot of the ridge connecting Broughnabinnia (2440 
ft.), an isolated sugar-loaf shaped hill, on the R., 
and Curraghmore (2695 ft.), a spur of Carran- 
tuohill, on the L. This ridge divides the Brida 
valley from Coumduv, or the Black Valley, and only 
a very ill-defined footway marks the track across. 
Two m. of this rocky, intricate footpath, 

165 



KERRY 

trodden by few, leads down to some houses near a 
stream issuing from a dark lake high up in the folds 
of Curraghmore, the Reeks, and Carrantuohill, and 
called Curraghmore Lake. A road is now met 
again, which for the first mile leads E., with Brassel 
Mountain (1888 ft.) in front of the traveller. Then 
it turns S. and goes down through a wooded bit of 
glen, where magnificent views are obtained, to a 
bridge ( i m. ) crossing the upper part of the Cum- 
meendufF River, issuing from Lough Reagh. At 
the far end of Lough Reagh a fine waterfall will be 
observed. From this bridge the road leads for i^ 
m. along the S. shores of Lough CummeendufF and 
Esknacruttia, crossing the river again below the 
eastern lake. Should the weather be stormy, and 
rain have recently fallen, the grandeur of the scenery 
at this point will be enhanced by the white water 
coming down the northern mountains from Lough 
Callee. 

This fine walk gives splendid views up the moun- 
tains at every turn, and each mile brings additional 
interests. A spur called Feabrahy (1894 ft.) runs 
out S. from the " Sierra " ridge of the Reeks, the 
highest points of which are one just behind Brassel 
Mountain (3 141 ft.), and one a little farther to the 
E., 3062 ft. in height. The road, after crossing 
the river, runs at the base of the Reeks on 
the N. side of the Coumduv (Black Valley) 
to a cross. Here the road to the R. leads down 
to Geerameen and the Upper Lake, which may 
be seen in the distance, and the road to the L. 
leads through the Gap of Dunloe back to Caragh. 
In making this expedition from Caragh care 
should be taken to have carriages or cars sent to 
the entrance of the Gap — to " French's Cottage '' 

166 



TRALEE 

— from which place a drive of 1 3 m. must be under- 
taken back to Caragh. The expedition is a long 
one, and entails a good deal of planning. The 
fatigue, however, may be lessened by having 
ponies sent to the head of the Black Valley and 
so avoiding the walk to the Gap of Dunloe. 
Should tourists wish to remain out for the night 
they could send their luggage to Killarney, and 
having made arrangements for boats to meet them 
at Geerameen, could come down through the chain 
of lakes. 

In conclusion, it may be mentioned that it is 
quite practicable to carry out this excursion from 
Killarney by using train, cars, ponies, and boats, 
and perhaps that is the most fascinating expedition 
of all. But whichever route a traveller takes, the 
Black Valley journey can be most strongly 
recommended. 



CHAPTER VIII 

TRALEE 

Approaches, (i) Tralee can be approached by 
the Great Southern and Western Railway from 
Dublin, 'via Mallow and Killarney, or (2) by the 
same line of railway from Dublin, njid Limerick and 
Listowel. The busy thriving town with some 
10,000 inhabitants, which has risen to importance 
in comparatively recent times, shows few signs of 
antiquity. ''Castle Street" and ''Mary Street" 
and "Abbey Street " come like echoes from the past 
to remind us that here in the centre of the present 

167 



KERRY 

town was one of the chief strongholds of the great 
Earl of Desmond, and near those narrow streets 
where children wrangle once stood a fair abbey 
^ of White Friars, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. 
But though to the outward eye there is little 
or nothing to bring back the past, there is a 
gallant history attached to the town of Tralee. 
It was near this town that St Brandon was born 
in 484, of the race of Ciar ; here, in the 1 3th 
century, John of Callan, the Geraldine chief, founded 
the Dominican monastery. To this church, in 1 26 1 , 
after the fatal Battle of Callan, the Geraldines bore 
the body of their chief and buried him in the con- 
secrated ground. Maurice FitzGerald, the eldest 
son of "John of Callan," who had married a 
daughter of Geoffrey de Marisco, at one time Lord 
Deputy, was also slain in the same battle and buried 
with his father in the Abbey Church of Tralee. 

In 1296, Thomas FitzGerald, the ancestor of 
a long line of Desmond chiefs, was buried in 
this abbey. The present " Square '' is supposed 
to be the site of the cloisters of the ancient 
monastic building which seems with fluctuating for- 
tune to have existed down to the reign of James II. 
It gave its martyrs to the Church, and amongst 
the number was the prior, who in 1653 refused to 
leave Ireland, and was condemned to the scaffold. 
He met his death "right manfully" in Killarney, 
saying with his last breath, "Into Thy hands. Lord, 
I commit my spirit." 

Another worthy brother of the Order of St 
Dominic in Tralee was Dominick O'Daly, who in 
1655, under the name of Dominic a' Rosario, was 
rector of Campo Santo College in Portugal, and 
established " Le Convent de Bon Succes " for Irish 

168 



TRALEE 

Dominican nuns in Lisbon. He died in 1663. 
The Dominicans at the present time have a beautiful 
church and monastery in Tralee, in Day Place, 
scarcely a stone's-throw from the site of the old 
abbey founded in the 13th century by John of 
Callan. 

With regard to the secular history of Tralee it 
has been before said that the old castle, which stood 
near the site of the houses on the N. side of Denny 
Street, was once on a time the chief stronghold 
of the Geraldines. After the Battle of Callan in 
1 26 1, the legends have it that the infant heir of 
Maurice slain in that battle was seized by an ape 
and poised over the battlements of the castle, and 
that the ape afterwards conveyed the child to a 
place of safety and spared its life, to become the 
founder of the Desmond line. From the incident, 
the crest, a monkey and motto, Crom-a-boo, is said 
to have had its origin. " Crom-a-boo " became 
the war-cry of the Desmonds. 

" And foemen fled when Crom-a-boo 
Proclaimed their lance in rest." 

In deference to legend again it may be stated that 
Tralee and not Drogheda is said to have been the 
place where Thomas, 8th Earl of Desmond, was 
beheaded, and where his retainers the De Veres 
renounced their Norman name and adopted that of 
M'Swiney instead, " through hatred and revenge." 
It was to Tralee in 1579 that Sir William Drury 
came to make the writ of " good Queen Bess " 
run in the palatinate of the Earl of Desmond — that 
great but unfortunate Earl of Desmond whom Sir 
Henry Sidney described as " a man void of judg- 
ment to govern or will to be ruled.'' Sir William 

169 



KERRY 

Drury misunderstood the rude welcome of the wild 
kernes, and Eleanor of Desmond, the sadly tried 
wife of the wilful Gerald, besought pardon for the 
mistake her husband had made in assembling his 
followers, and gave her son as a hostage for future 
fidelity. 

Then after the Desmond wars were over, Tralee 
ceased to be the stronghold of the Geraldines, and 
in 1586-87 was delivered to Mr Denny and became 
the Tralee of the Dennys for many a long year. 
This Mr Denny was afterwards Sir Edward Denny, 
knight banneret, a second son of Sir Anthony Denny, 
one of the executors of the will of Henry VIII. 
He seems to have come to Ireland as a young 
soldier of fortune with others, like Sir Walter 
Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, to take a part in the 
Desmond wars. But his first experience of Ireland 
does not seem to have impressed him favourably, if 
we may judge by the following letter from him to 
Sir Francis Walsingham, which bears date 8th 
September 1580: — 

" I find already my Ireland journey will rather 
destroy me quite than amend me in anything, and 
for this kind of service is so groundless, so devoid of 
reputation in respect of the service never seen ; but 
it still happens in bogs, glens, and woods as in my 
opinion it might better fit mastiffs than brave gentle- 
men that desire to win honour. So that I conceive 
neither good-will at home, commodity here, nor 
reputation be gotten. " Were it not for the love 
I bear Lord Grey, all things considered, as myself 
hath well scanned and determinately set down, I 
see no good cause as I would rather live in misery 
and bondage elsewhere than command and live free 
here/' 

170 



TRALEE 

But things did not turn out so badly with " Ned 
Denny," as he was called in the despatches, in 
which he was honourably mentioned; and having 
been dubbed a knight on the field of battle, and 
done his duty to his sovereign, he, '*by God's 
favour, Queen Elizabeth's bounty, and his own 
valour, achieved a fair estate in the county of 
Kerry in Ireland." When he died and was buried 
at Waltham Abbey, in Essex, some one wrote this 
epitaph over his tomb — 

" A Courtier of the Chamber, 
A Soldier in the field, 
Whose tongue could never flatter, 
And whose heart could never yield." 

And no bad epitaph either ! 

One of the most gallant pages in the history of 
Tralee is that which records the defence of the 
castle in 1641. It was a sore time for the 
English settlers, for the confederate army was 
strong, and had taken Castlemaine with ease. 
Many of the gentry joined the army of the Lord 
President of Munster (St Leger), whilst others, 
like Colonel David Crosbie, fortified tenable places 
and held on, hoping for relief sooner or later. I 
will tell, as shortly as I can, the story of this 
siege. 

In 1 64 1 there were two castles of importance 
in and near Tralee. The larger, situated in the 
town, belonged to Sir Edward Denny. The 
other, called the '' Short Castle," belonged to a 
family named Rice. When the war broke out 
the "Short Castle" was taken possession of by 
the English settlers, and about 105 people 
crowded to its shelter. In the large castle of 

171 



KERRY 

the Dennys there were some 170 people, men, 
women, and children. Arms were collected, and 
all preparations made for a long struggle. But 
there was a scarcity of ammunition, owing to the 
proclamation by the Lord Deputy Strafford, which 
had prohibited the keeping of arms or gunpowder 
by any person except of the greatest quality, etc. 
However, the defenders of the castles were not 
cast down, and when Sir Edward Denny was 
ordered by the President of Munster to join him, 
the command of his castle of Tralee was left in the 
capable hands of Sir Thomas Harris, and associated 
with him as governor was the provost of the town. 
Fierce fighting commenced in 1642, and various 
attempts were made to take the castles. But they 
were gallantly defended by the English settlers, 
and as gallantly assaulted by the opposing force. 
Then the attacking party cut off the water-supply, 
and the garrisons were compelled to drink black 
and foetid water, with the result that scurvy and 
fever broke out. Sallies were frequently made, and 
in one of them the English captured three prisoners. 
Of these they hanged two, but the third, Thomas 
Roe, a piper, was saved and kept to play to the 
English garrison. 

On the other hand, the confederate Irish, when 
they entered the town, hanged the keeper of the 
gaol, and committed other acts which at that time 
were not looked on as out of the ordinary usages of 
war. Before hanging the gaol-keeper, the captors 
made him show where he kept his money, made 
him drunk with his own beer, and then lashed 
him to make him dance, and when he fell down 
they dragged him to execution. It was no wonder 
after this that Mr White, who was cut off when 

172 



TRALEE 

going to visit his house at Loghercannon, thought 
it better to fly to Ardfert than run the risk of 
falling into the hands of the enemy. The MS. 
which relates all this says that the tenantry of Sir 
Edward Denny, to the number of 400, were 
plundered, and fled for safety to the castle, and the 
garrison " grumbled " greatly at the addition to their 
number. There was treachery to contend against, 
and hunger and thirst and disease, and yet all at- 
tempts to induce Sir Thomas Harris to surrender 
proved futile. He had been entrusted with the 
defence of the castle by Sir Edward Denny, 
and "he would not surrender it to any rebel." 
And so for six months the siege of Tralee was 
carried on with vigour, and the defence maintained 
with great determination. But at last the defenders, 
being destitute of provisions and ammunition, were 
obliged to give up their arms on being granted 
quarter and "a suit of clothes to each person." 
Sir Thomas Harris was spared the humiliation 
of a surrender. Worn out by sickness and hard- 
ship, and the cares of his command, he died just 
before the capitulation. During the siege this hero 
wrote several times to Lord Kerry, asking for aid, 
and offering to cut his way out to join forces at 
Ardfert to give battle to the confederates. But 
Lord Kerry apparently deemed discretion the better 
part of valour, and leaving Harris and the Tralee 
garrison to their fate, fled to England for safety. 
Such is the short record of the siege of the old 
castles of Tralee. 

In 1826, the Sir Edward Denny of the day 
finally demolished the building to make way for 
the improvement of the town. Ballybeggan Castle 
held out till 1643, when it was relieved by 

173 



KERRY 

Captain Bridges, who was sent by Lord Inchiquin 
to Tralee. By this time most of the Irish con- 
federates had joined Lord Muskerry, and the 
way was being prepared for the peace which Lord 
Ormonde eventually made with the confederate 
Catholics, and which turned them from enemies 
of the king into devoted Royalists and enemies 
of Cromwell and the Parliament, In the 
Revolution of 1688 Kerry sided with the un- 
fortunate James II. But it was not till 1691 
that Levison, with his dragoons, entered the 
northern part of the county, and the Irish adhe- 
rents of the king de jure burnt Tralee. Then 
Ginkel, the famous general of WiUiam of Orange, 
sent a detachment of the Prince of Denmark's 
regiment in support of Levison, and Captains 
Navarre and O'Loughnane, who had ordered the 
burning of Tralee, went very near being hanged. 
Colonel Denny, however, interceded for them, and 
their lives were saved. 

Tralee owes its present importance as a commercial 
town partly to its position as the centre of a large 
agricultural district, and partly to the vigour and 
enterprise of its people. Every day is a sort of 
market-day, and the merchants and shopkeepers of 
Tralee are amongst the most energetic in the S. of 
Ireland. As a centre for tourist traffic it has not the 
advantages of Killarney, but there are many things 
in and around it to interest the passing traveller 
on his way to the wild district of Dingle. The 
fine modern Parish Church, with a graceful spire, 
stands almost in the centre of the town, and 
the Dominican Church, in Day Place, built of 
warm red sandstone, are well worth a visit. 
The school of the Christian Brothers, the con- 

174 



TRALEE 

vent, knitting factory, and Technical School, the 
Protestant Episcopal church and school, are all 
interesting places to visit in this western town. 
And there are some charming expeditions to be 
made from Tralee into the surrounding country. 

( I ) Tralee to Fenit, A drive from Tralee 
to Fenit leads past the little hamlet of Spa (5 m.), 
along the eastern shore of the bay, and gives a very 
fine view of the Slieve Mish Mountains over the 
water. The deep glen of Derrymore, between the 
heights of Bautregaum and Caherconree, with the 
white line of water issuing from its depths, will 
bring to mind the legend of Curoi, of Daire, and 
Blanaid, which has been related at length in the 
portion of this Guide dealing with the barony of 
Corkaguiny (Chapter IX.). Seven m. by road 
brings the traveller to Fenit, a quiet little seaport 
and fishing village, specially remarkable for the 
lovely view which may be enjoyed on a fine 
day, and for its bracing air. From this point 
the whole range of mountains from Slieve Mish 
to the point of Brandon are seen, each peak being 
distinct and easy to recognise. 

It would be hard to find a more perfect panorama 
of mountains than which is seen from Fenit. The 
low-lying sandbank, which goes by the name of 
the Magharees, runs out seawards from the culti- 
vated lowlands at the base of the mountains, and 
divides Brandon Bay from the bay of Tralee. 
The great rock which stands out midway between 
Kerry Head and the Magharees is called " Mucklagh 
More." On this rock the lesser black-backed gulls 
breed in large numbers. Mucklaghbeg is the flat 
sea-swept reef nearer the mainland of Fenit. On 
this flat rock the turnstone is seen in the spring. 

175 



KERRY 

Near the mouth of the harbour is the Samphire 
Lighthouse. It is only a local guide to the ■{ 
harbour of Fenit and to the channel leading up to * 
Tralee. A substantial pier and breakwater con- 
nects the mainland with an outlying island, and the 
water in the basin, where the freighted ships lie, is 
kept to a suitable depth by dredging. Fenit, having 
direct railway communication with Tralee, and so 
with Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, should be an 
important port in the future, when, as is hoped, 
wealth and trade and general prosperity come to 
Ireland. At Barrow (2 m.), E. of Fenit, are the 
excellent oyster beds of the Messrs M*Cowan, and 
there also are to be seen the ruins of Barrow 
Castle, one of the numerous strongholds which tell 
the tale of Ireland so eloquently. This particular 
castle was built to guard the narrow entrance to 
Barrow Harbour, a shallow haven which only ships 
of light draught can enter. 

Fenit to Ardfert, A pleasant drive of 4 m. 
through a happy, prosperous-looking land leads 
past the desolate ruins of Rahinane Castle, where 
a certain Bishop Fuller took up his abode in the 
exciting days of 1641. When Lord Kerry fled 
to England, 'and Tralee was sore beset by the 
confederate forces, the O'Kellys, O'Dorans, and 
O'Lawlers swooped down from the country around 
Causeway, where they had been deported in previous 
years, and sacked and burnt the Cathedral of Ard- 
fert and Rahinane. 

(2) Ardfert Abbey and Cathedral, Five 
miles from Tralee, by road or rail, which 
run parallel to each other, lies the village of 
Ardfert, in the centre of a rich agricultural country 
of limestone formation. The land has been im- 

176 



TRALEE 

proved from year to year till it has become perhaps 
as good as any land in the county. The centre of 
interest in this place is the old ruined cathedral 
dedicated to St Brandon. The sainted founder of 
the original edifice had his first education under 
Bishop Ert, and afterwards studied under St Jarlath 
of Tuam. Ardfert is said to mean the high place 
of " Ert," or by some the high place where 
miracles are performed. Dr Joyce derives it 
for Ard-ferta, meaning the height of the grave. 
The earliest history of the cathedral is somewhat 
clouded by legend and mystery ; but in the annals of 
Innisfallen some names of the bishops are mentioned 
who reigned in . the see of Ardfert, or, as it was 
called, the see of Kerry, prior to the Norman in- 
vasion. One of these bishops of Kerry, MacRonan, 
assisted at the Synod of Kells, which was held by 
the Pope's legate, Cardinal John Paparo, in the 
year 1152. The first Englishman who filled the 
see was a Benedictine monk named John, who was 
consecrated in 1 2 1 5. 

In 1252 Christian, a Dominican friar, was 
elected bishop, and confirmed in his title by King 
Henry III., and in 1288 Nicholas, a Cistercian 
monk from the abbey of O'Dorney, was conse- 
crated bishop, and so down through the succeeding 
centuries we read of bishop and bishop in continu- 
ous succession, some bearing the names of families 
extant in Kerry at the present day — Stacks, Fitz- 
Maurices, FitzGeralds, Crosbies, Leslies. The 
cathedral consists of a nave and choir, and is 26 
yards in length and about 10 yards wide. The E. 
end is lighted by three lancet-shaped windows of 
what is called the Early English style of architec- 
ture. The interior contains many gravestones, one 
M 177 



KERRY 

of which, a recumbent form of a bishop, is said to 
cover the grave of Bishop Stack, who died in 1488. 
On the S. side there is an arcade of four Gothic 
arches, which make an aisle. Possibly there was 
formerly a similar aisle on the N. side also. 
The S. transept is now the burying-place of 
the family of Crosbie of Ardfert Abbey. Smith, 
in his " History of Kerry," mentions a tomb, 
round the edge of which ran this inscription : 
— *' This monument was erected and chapel re- 
edified in the year 1688 by the Right Honourable 
Honora Lady-Do >yager of Kerry, for herself, her 
children, and their posteritie, only according to her 
agreement with the Dean and Chapter." The 
two detached chapels towards the W. end of the 
cathedral are supposed to have belonged to the 
dignitaries of the Church. Dr Smith mentions a 
round tower as having been in existence at his day 
opposite the W. end of the church, but of this there 
are now no remains extant. 

Ardfert Abbey, This Franciscan abbey, 
founded by Thomas FitzMaurice, first Lord 
Kerry, in 1253, and reformed for Observants in 
1 5 1 8, stands in the park belonging to Mr Talbot 
Crosbie. It is a beautiful old building — some say 
as beautiful as Muckross — and the five-light Early 
English window in the chancel is quite perfect. 
The architecture is Early English, and older than 
the Muckross Abbey, which was founded in 1480. 

(3) Ardfert to Ballyheige. Leaving Ardfert 
and continuing the northern road through the flat 
land, bounded on the L. hand by the low sand- 
hills which fringe the shores of Tralee Bay from 
Fenit to Ballyheige, a wide-open country of almost 
unbroken flatness extends on the R. to the base of 

178 



TRALEE 

the Stacks and Glanaruddery Mountains, and the 
faint blue hills to the N.E., which mark the 
boundary of the County Limerick. This country 
is attractive in summer time, when creamy meadow- 
sweet and loosestrife wave in the fields, and the 
land looks purple-and-gold in the sunshine. But 
in winter it is dreary enough, when the wind 
drives the rain in sheets over land and sea. 
But the road leads to Ballyheige (7 m.) at last, 
and if fortunate enough to see the view with the 
sunlight on the far distant mountains over an opal 
sea fringing the sands with white foam, the 
visitor will be amply rewarded for a somewhat 
monotonous journey. 

Ballyheige Castle, the home of Mr James 
Crosbie, stands boldly out on a height over- 
looking the sea, and backed by wind-swept woods, 
beautiful in spring-time, with a profusion of blue 
hyacinths. In the gardens of this attractive place 
the figs ripen in the open, and the ^g trees are 
amongst the largest in Kerry. It was here that 
the celebrated and much discussed silver robbery 
took place in the year 1730. Mr Froude 
told the story in his " Short Studies on 
Great Subjects " and his " EngHsh in Ireland." 
But the openly expressed views of Mr Froude 
gave a good deal of offence to Kerry people, and 
his narration was said to be highly coloured. To 
get matters in some way right. Miss Mary Agnes 
Hickson, in the second series of " Old Kerry 
Records," went to infinite pains to give all the 
circumstances connected with this robbery, together 
with the depositions taken in the case. Those 
interested in the matter cannot do better than read 
the account given in this book. 

179 



KERRY 

It would be too long a story to tell in 
the pages of this little Guide, and a bare out- 
line of the occurrence is all that can be given. 
A Danish East Indiaman, called the Golden 
Lyotiy laden with twelve chests of silver bullion 
and coin, on a voyage from Copenhagen to Tran- 
quebar, was driven out of her course by stress of 
weather, and on 28th October 1730 was run ashore 
by her captain on the N. side of Ballyheige Bay. 
John Heitman, her captain, communicated with 
his authorities in Copenhagen, and pending their 
instructions stored his chests of bullion, which had 
been saved through the exertions of Mr Thomas 
Crosbie and his dependants, in the cellar of a tower 
in Ballyheige Castle. A guard of Danish sailors 
watched over the treasure, and the officers and 
all the shipwrecked crew received every kindness 
and hospitality from Thomas Crosbie and Lady 
Margaret Crosbie, his wife. For eight months, 
apparently, viz., from October to June, the trea- 
sure was unmolested, and the captain and crew 
well treated. But apparently the temptation of 
the silver had led to a great conspiracy being 
formed amongst the people of the surrounding 
country, and on the night of 21st June 1731 a 
party of over two hundred men, with blackened 
faces and armed, attacked the tower. Two or 
three of the Danes were killed and the treasure was 
stolen. The puzzle as to where it was taken and 
who was to blame went on through many weary 
months. Some of the treasure was subsequently 
recovered, but there does not appear to have been 
any satisfactory punishment of the guilty parties of 
this raid. 

(4) Ballyheige to Ballingarry and Kerry 

180 



TRALEE 

Head. To the N. of Ballyheige Castle, and 
distant about 4 m., are the remains of Ballingarry, 
where Colonel David Crosbie made his brave stand 
in 1 64 1 . Driven out of Gortnaskehy, a house which 
stood somewhere near the present Ardfert Abbey, 
he retired to Ballingarry, being supplied with pro- 
visions by Lord Inchiquin from the opposite coast 
of Clare. He fortified the little promontory and 
built houses for the Protestant refugees, and made 
covered ways to the fortress from the drawbridge. 
In 1644 the confederate Catholic army for Kerry 
gave him an assurance that he should enjoy and 
possess all ** his lands, rents, and other possess- 
sions '' which he held at the time of the cessation 
of arms, agreed on in 1643 between the Marquis 
of Ormonde and the confederates. But, alas ! 
for treachery. In a few months after the signing 
of this agreement Colonel Crosbie's lands were 
plundered, Gortnaskehy given to the flames and 
destroyed, and the siege of Ballingarry resumed 
with vigour. It was taken by the confederates 
only when one James Kelly treacherously let down 
the drawbridge and admitted the foe. Colonel 
Crosbie's life was spared through the devotion of 
his niece, Katharine Macgillycuddy of the Reeks. 
This young lady was a refugee in Ballingarry, but 
her brother. Colonel Macgillycuddy, and one of 
her cousins, were serving with the confederate army 
near Tralee. It was through the intervention of 
these gentlemen that Colonel Crosbie was spared. 
He lived for some years after his exciting adven- 
tures, and was made Governor of Kerry by Lord 
Inchiquin. Subsequently his estates were restored 
to him by Oliver Cromwell, and in 1658 he died 
full of years and honours, and was buried at Ardfert. 

181 



KERRY 

(5) Tralee to Abbey dorney, Ratoo, and 
Lixnaw. Passing out of Tralee by Rock Street 
and the railway crossing near the factory, the road ■ 
leads past the back of Oak Park and gradually * 
rises to the schoolhouse of Listellick (2 m.). The 
view looking back over the town of Tralee to the 
mountains is especially noteworthy, and gives a 
very good general idea of this part of Kerry. 
Continuing along the road, the flat land of North 
Kerry lies in front, studded with white farmhouses, 
and rising in the distance to the inconsiderable 
heights of Ballyheige and Knockanure Hills. 
Five miles distant from Tralee by this somewhat 
rough road the traveller comes to the little village 
of Abbeydorney, or, as it is sometimes called, 
O'Dorney. 

There is nothing remarkable about this little 
hamlet, which consists of a police barrack, a post 
office, a chapel, and a few houses, with a railway 
station on the direct line of rail between Tralee 
and Listowel. Just beyond the railway station on 
the R. of the road stands the ruined old abbey 
of O'Dorney, once an important religious house. 
The old name of this abbey was " Kyrie Eleison," 
and it was built for Cistercian monks by some for- 
gotten founder in the year 1 1 54, and dedicated to 
the Blessed Virgin Mary. The abbots of Kyrie 
Eleison were lords of Parliament, and the abbey 
was a rich one. Thomas Fitz Maurice, a Bernardine 
monk, and fifth son of Maurice, second Lord of 
Kerry, was at one time abbot of this place. He 
died in 1303. In this now neglected and ruined 
spot Christian O'Conarchy, legate of the Pope, 
Bishop of Lismore, and Superior of all the Cister- 
cians in Ireland, was buried in 11 86, When King 

182 



TRALEE 

Henry VII I. played havoc with the abbey lands 
throughout the kingdom he created Edmund, nth 
Lord Kerry, Baron O'Dorney, and granted to him 
the abbey of Kyrie Eleison and all the " appurten- 
ances ^' thereof, together with several other religious 
houses, to be held by him and his issue male, with 
the proviso that they should revert to the Crown on 
the failure of heirs to succeed to the grant. 

(6) Rattoo Round Tower and Abbey. From 
O'Dorney the road leads fairly straight towards 
BallydufF village (8 m.), past the tall round 
tower seen on the hill slope to the R. This is 
Rattoo. The tower is the most perfect specimen 
of a round tower to be found, and is well worth 
inspecting. 

These round towers of Ireland have been the 
subject of much discussion as to their origin and 
purpose. It has, however, now been established 
that they were built about the 8th and 9th centuries 
as bell towers for the churches which are almost 
invariably found near to them. The massive 
masonry, and the doorways high up in the build- 
ings, point to their having been used as places 
of refuge, and as safe places for the sacred 
vessels of the church in times of disturbance. 
Similar towers are found in some parts of the 
Continent, notably in France and Italy. The time 
of Charlemagne is fixed upon as the period when 
these ecclesiastical towers were built abroad, and at 
that time the Celtic Church in Ireland was in con- 
stant communication with the continent of Europe. 
A small abbey, formerly held by the Canons Regular 
of St Austin, stands within the precincts of the park 
at Rattoo. Originally this little building was a 
preceptory belonging to the Knights Hospitallers 

183 



KERRY 

of St John of Jerusalem, and was founded by a 
certain Friar William during the reign of King 
John. The Austin Canons got possession of it 
later, and dedicated it to St Peter and St Paul. 
In November 1600 the Irish burnt the abbey on 
the approach of Sir Charles Wilmot's forces. 

(7) Lixnaw. S.E. from Rattoo, across flat, 
marshy land where dykes are cut to carry off the 
surplus water, lies the village of Lixnaw (3 m.), 
once, many years ago, the country of the Luceni, 
a section of the Milesian horde which overran 
Ireland. From these Luceni, Lixnaw takes its 
name. The landmark for the whole countryside 
is the curious domed building standing on a slight 
eminence not far from the railway station. This 
building marks the last resting-place of the Earls 
of Kerry, the centre of whose vast territory was 
this forsaken village. The whole barony of Clan 
Maurice formerly belonged to this family of Fitz- 
Maurice. They were barons of Kerry and Lixnaw 
by tenure, and afterwards confirmed by patent in 
the reign of King Richard II. 

Lixnaw was not always the unimportant place it 
is at the present day. Formerly a strong castle 
stood where the grass now waves, and down to the 
end of the i8th century the house at Lixnaw was 
a favoured abode. Dr Smith in his '' History," 
published in 1774, speaking of Lixnaw, says — 

" This seat stands agreeably on the river Brick, 
which is here cut into several pleasant canals that 
adorn its plantations and gardens. The tide flows 
up to the gardens, whereby boats of a considerable 
burden may bring up goods to the bridge near 
the house ; here are two stone bridges over 
the Brick, the oldest of which was built by 

184 



TRALEE 

Nicholas, the third baron of Lixnaw, who was 
the first person that made causeways to this 
place, the land being naturally wet and marshy. 
The present house consists of a large building 
with wings on each side, and several offices, that 
enclose a handsome area ; in one of these wings is 
a chapel, the walls of which are painted in fresco 
by a foreigner called John Souillard, being copies of 
the celebrated cartons (^sic) of Raphael at Hampton 
Court, particularly the lame man healed by Peter 
and John, Elymas the Sorcerer, Paul preaching at 
Athens, etc. The figures are as large as the life ; 
and over the door, behind the festons [sic) and 
other decorations, are the heads of Homer, Virgil, 
Milton, and Pope, all in claro-obscuro, by the same 
hand." 

This home of the FitzMaurices, so graphically 
described by Dr Smith, went through the horrors 
of a siege in 1602. Sir Charles Wilmot, marching 
S., and finding his progress barred by the forces of 
FitzMaurice, swam his horses over the Cashen, 
which is the embouchure of the river Feale, and 
having secured his passage, laid siege to Lixnaw. 
By a clever device he cut the garrison off from 
the water and forced a capitulation. Few vestiges 
remain of this once goodly castle, where, according 
to the traditions, culture and refinement found a 
home, and where pleasant water parties on the 
river, and a variety of entertainments, prompted 
the Lady of Kerry to write that there were only 
two places in the world to live in — " London and 
Lixnaw.'^ 

In no part of Kerry is the tragedy of time so 
forcibly brought to mind as in viewing the remains 
of former days in Lixnaw. The grass-grown 

i8S 



KERRY 

foundations speak eloquently of what has been, 
and the noisy jackdaws round the old weather- 
beaten tomb point the moral : — 

*' Our lives are rivers gliding free 
To that unfathomed boundless sea — 

The silent grave. 
Thither all earthly pomp and boast 
Roll to be swallowed up and lost 

In one dark wave ! " 

The return journey from Lixnaw to Tralee may 
be made by road via Abbeydorney, or by train 
direct to Tralee. 

The above excursions to Abbeydorney, Rattoo, 
and Lixnaw can be equally well carried out 
from Listowel, and might form an addition to those 
enumerated in Chapter X, of this Guide. 

(8) Tralee to Glounaneenty. The low range 
of hills which stretch from near Tralee to the 
eastern bounds of the county of Kerry, bringing to 
mind a line of African kopjes with their passes or 
^' neks," contains one point called the Knight's Moun- 
tain — faint echo from the feudal days. Not far from 
this point lies the scene of the last tragedy connected 
with the pathetic story of the house of Desmond. 
The road from Tralee to Castleisland ( 1 1 m. ) 
or Killarney (20 m.) passes the cemetery about 
half-a-mile from the town on the L. hand side of 
the road. There is to be seen a small ruined 
chapel called Ratass, the doorway of which is a 
somewhat celebrated specimen of Cyclopean masonry. 
Continuing along this road past the Poor House on 
the L., a good road leads due E., where the woods 
of Ballyseedy are passed (3 m.), and shortly after 
the cross-road on the R., which leads to Ballyseedy 
House, the home of the Blennerhassetts. From 

186 



TRALEE 

this cross a circular route leads by Farmers' Bridge 
back to Tralee. A few yards farther on a cross- 
road is met on the L. This road affords a pleasant 
drive or bicycle ride round by Chute Hall, back by 
the racecourse to Tralee (5 m.). 

Leaving these roads and continuing the direction 
E. by the wild bit of plantation on the L. hand, 
Ballycarty Cross is reached (4 m. from Tralee). 
The R. hand road here goes by Farranfore to 
Killarney, and the L. hand road runs almost 
straight for Castleisland (7 m.). Continuing the 
journey along this road for about 2 m. a sharp 
turn leads up a slight hill to the L., and i m. of 
ups and downs brings the traveller to the chapel and 
little hamlet of Cloghers. Here a turn must be 
made to the L., and after a few yards a road to 
the R. leads into the hills. The scenery becomes 
more beautiful as the traveller proceeds — Scots firs, 
larch, and old oaks clothe the slopes, which lead 
down to a little mountain stream flowing in the 
depths of a glen. There is little to break the silence 
and solitude, and the view, looking back over the 
flat country and the southern hills, is exquisite. 
It was here that, in the year 1583, Gerald, i6th 
and last Earl of Desmond, was captured and slain. 
The place is still pointed out by the country folk, 
but whether the actual spot is identified cannot be 
said for certain. It is enough that the locality 
should be accurately distinguished. It is true that 
a particular place is called " Desmond's Grave " 
— though his grave it was not — the body of the 
murdered Desmond having been borne to Kilona- 
naim, the little, ruined graveyard under the Cordal 
Hills beyond Castleisland. 

The story of the last of the Desmonds has been so 

187 



KERRY 

often told that it would be tedious to repeat it in de- 
tail. Hunted from place to place, with a price on his 
head, his castles burnt and destroyed or in the hands 
of the English, the last Geraldine chief led a pre- 
carious existence for three years, 1580-83. The 
woods and fastnesses of the hills gave him shelter, 
and with a few followers, "the old evil children 
of the wood," he raided the lands of his former 
followers who had made their submission to the 
crown. His power had gone ; his vast territory 
had been portioned out amongst the English under- 
takers ; but his spirit was unbroken. He would 
*' rather desert God than his men " was his reply 
to the suggestion of surrender. But the end 
was bound to come, and it came in this wise. 
From the shelter of the glens and woods of 
Derrymore away in the Slieve Mish Hills he sent 
some of his followers to raid the cattle of a man 
named Moriarty near Castlegregory. The animals 
were driven over the sands by Blennerville, and on 
by Tralee to Glounaneenty's wooded glen, where 
the chief felt secure. But Moriarty, crossing the 
mountains to Dingle, reported the matter to Lieut. 
Stanley, who commanded the Queen's forces in 
that place, and receiving from him permission 
to employ some soldiers to recover his stolen 
property, he made his way to Castlemaine, where 
the Constable gave him the aid he required. 
Moriarty with his soldiers tracked the cattle to 
Glounaneenty, and in the night surrounded the 
wretched cabin where the last Earl of Desmond 
lay. Finding the old man unarmed in the cabin, 
they asked who he was, and the reply came, 
" I am the Earl of Desmond : spare my life." 
A soldier named Kelly struck the Desmond's 

188 



I 



TRALEE 

head off, and it was sent to the Traitor's Gate in 
the Tower of London. The body was left where 
it fell till nightfall, when a few followers carried 
it to Kilonanaim graveyard and buried it there. 

Kilonanaim means the " Church of the Name." 
Locally it is said to be so called from the fact that 
none but those of the name of FitzGerald are ever 
buried in that place. But we may perhaps go 
further back for the derivation to those times when 
Kerry was full of the memories of saints, and the 
" Church of the Name " was the church of the 
"Holy Name." There is no authority for this 
suggestion, except perhaps a lingering wish that it 
may be true. 

Leaving the beautiful glen by the upper end 
where the wood straggles up the mountain side, 
the traveller comes out on the breezy uplands, 
where heathery hills stretch in undulating folds to 
the valley of the Feale. At the summit of the pass 
a road leads through this moorland county to the L. 
to a cross near the schoolhouse of Glounaneenty. 
Here a road leads to the R. to Knocknagree 
(5 m.) and Feale Bridge (8 m.), whilst a road 
turning L. up the hill slope again leads to a pass 
some 3 m. W. of Glounaneenty, and descending 
the southern slope carries the traveller past the little 
hamlet of GlandufFand so to Tralee (12 m.). At 
Glanduff the road may be taken direct on by the 
racecourse to the town of Tralee, or, turning to the L., 
through the shady way by Chute Hall to the cross 
near the cemetery and the ruined church of Ratass. 
Pretty views of cultivated plain and barren moun- 
tain with distant gleams of the sea may be enjoyed 
by the former route. 

Chute Hall (3 m.). This good house with a 

189 



KERRY 

well -wooded park was formerly called Tulligarron, 
and was held by a branch of the family of M*Elligott, 
and came into the family of its present owners by 
marriage. 

Ballymacelligott. Five m. from Tralee, and 
nearly midway between that place and Castleisland, 
is Arabela. A cross-road leads (i m.) to a 
small collection of houses, with church and par- 
sonage, which compose the village of Ballymacel- 
ligott. Near Arabela, " Castle Macelligott '^ stood 
till it was battered down by Cromwell's soldiers. 
The proprietor of Ballymacelligott married Grace 
Crosbie, and his son Colonel MacElligott, saved 
Colonel David Crosbie's life when Ballingarry 
fort was captured in the evil days of 1641. (See 
sub-chapter, Ballyheige and Ballingarry.) 

(9) Tralee to Castlemaine by *' Foley's Glen,'' 
A variety may be made in the monotony of 
car and train travelling if the traveller wishes, by 
sending luggage by train from Tralee to Castle- 
maine, and walking over the pass which leads straight 
S. over the hills to Castlemaine village (7 m.). 
The distance being short and the scenery strik- 
ing, this diversion can be strongly recommended. 
The first part of the journey is made by the hill 
at Ballyard, past the pretty grounds of Ballyard 
House, the residence of Mr Robert FitzGerald, 
on the R., and thence to the foot of the pass 
(2^ m.), or by the road which leads from the 
town past the barracks, and turning to the R. at 
the ruined bit of Ballymullen Castle (|^ m.), goes 
with one slight bend to the same point at the foot 
of the pass. A mountain torrent comes down 
the glen, hidden in places by trees and shrubs. 
The road follows the line of the stream for i m., 

190 



TRALEE 

till a rugged, ill-defined path is met on the R., 
leading to the depths of the glen and to Queen 
Scota^s grave — a favourite resort of the people of 
Tralee in summer time. The so-called grave of 
the Milesian Queen Scota is a flat slab of stone 
carved with innumerable letters of modern descrip- 
tion. The valley of the main stream lies W. from 
the point, and the head waters can be met 2 m. 
farther on in the moorlands. 

Rejoining the high-road to the summit of the 
pass, the traveller goes through a wild bit of 
mountain scenery, and at the far end before 
the top is reached the hill is fairly steep. 
From the head of the pass, which is 1064 ft. 
over the sea, a grand panorama is obtained. Far 
beneath is the valley of the Maine and the Laune, 
backed by the Killarney hills, the Reeks, and 
Caragh Mountains ; the whole country glimmers 
with lakes and streams, till dim and blue the 
mountains dip to the sea beyond Glenbeigh. 
A zigzag road, very steep in places, leads to 
the valley on the southern side of the pass. 
A mile from Castlemaine this road joins the 
main road from Tralee. Travellers should not 
omit to look at the Old Bridge at Castlemaine, 
and if the imagination is sufliciently vivid the 
picture of an ancient keep may be seen rising from 
the foundation piers of the bridge. Here was the 
old frontier fortress between Kerry and Desmond 
in the days of old — the key of the palatine 
county of Kerry — held at one time by MacCarthy 
More and at another by the Geraldines, till Eliza- 
beth's Council deemed it too important to be 
entrusted to any but a Constable appointed by the 
Crown. 

191 



KERRY 



1 



Queen Scota, The Queen Scota referred to in 
this chapter is said to have been a daughter of 
Pharaoh, and was the wife of Milidh a Milesian. 
According to the " Annals of the Four Masters," 
the age of the world was 3500 years when the 
Milesians came and fought a battle at Sliabh Mis 
(Slieve Mish), and Queen Scota was killed in that 
battle and buried in the glen through which the 
traveller has walked to Castlemaine. 

(10) Tralee to Castlegregory function, and 
over the Pass ofCaherhla, A very dehghtful day 
may be spent by going by the early train from Tralee 
to Castlegregory Junction (10 m.), and from that 
point following the road which runs by the R. 
bank of the Finglass River into the glen under the 
height of Caherconree (4 m.). This road is fair 
till the head of the glen is reached, when it becomes 
a loose gravelly mountain track torn by the tor- 
rents. The spring must be recommended as the 
time for this journey, when the larch woods in the 
glen are vivid green, and the uplands are glowing 
with gorse in bold contrast to the warm brown 
colours on the mountain. The view from the pass 
at the head of the glen and for the whole way 
down to the main road near Kiel affords the most 
beautiful views of Castlemaine and Dingle Bays, 
and the range of the Reeks and Carrantuohill. 
The return journey may be made by the road 
which runs from Kiel to Castlemaine (3 m.), and 
around the low eastern shoulder of the Slieve Mish 
range to Tralee. The whole distance from Castle- 
gregory Junction over the pass to Castlemaine would 
be 13 m. 

(11) Tralee to Glountinassig. When the 
spring days come and the brown of the mountains 

193 



TRALEE 

is changing to subdued green under the influence of 
sunshine and soft rains ; when the pinguicula or 
greater butterwort is out in full flower and cotton 
grass waves in the breeze, a visit to this beauti- 
ful glen is a pleasure to be long remembered. 
An easy journey by the light railway to Castle- 
gregory Junction, and thence either by bicycle to 
the Owencashla River, or by train along the Castle- 
gregory branch line as far as the primitive station 
of Aughashla, and thence by bicycle or on foot along 
the road which runs parallel to the river for i m., 
leads to the entrance of the glen called Glountinassig. 
Should the latter mode of travelling be adopted 
the traveller must from Aughashla Station return 
along the road towards the E. for ;^ m. to a branch 
road near a store, and turning to the R. there pursue 
the course of the river towards the glen (i m.). 
At the entrance of the glen, a deep " coum," up 
in the mountain side to the L., marks the site of 
Lough Accumeen, where good trout are to be 
found and caught if the favourable wind plays 
on the lake, which is not of frequent occurrence. 
On the R. hand side across the river rises 
Benoskee Mountain (2713 ft.). Continuing the 
journey along the mountain road, and rounding 
the shoulder of the hill on the L., the road goes 
for a mile to a rough ford over a brook, and a 
steep incline leads to a couple of cottages, the 
only ones in the glen, from which point the 
track becomes little more than a footpath to the 
lone dark lake (|^ ni. ), which lies at the head 
of the Owencashla River, under the cliflFs, and 
is called Lough Slat. This lough is also fair 
fishing water, but difficult to fish on the far side, 
owing to the rough and precipitous shore. 

N 193 



KERRY 

A little stream joins this lake at its N.W. end, 
and crossing this, and having in front the bold 
cliffs on the lower slope of Benoskee, a faint path- 
way leads through boulders and heather, difficult in 
parts to traverse, up the R. peak of the stream 
for ^ mile. The stream must then be crossed 
to continue along the path up the L. bank, to 
where the water rushes over several miniature 
falls to within a short distance of the point 
marked by a low heathery rise, ^ m. from Lough 
Slat. Here the stream must be crossed once 
more, and almost at once the waters of Coum 
Lough break on the view. A wild highland 
glen opens up, the bare hill sides unmarked by 
enclosures, and the silence broken by nothing save 
the bleating of the sheep or the tinkle of the waters. 
Two loughs, joined by a short stream, lie in the 
depths of this lovely glen, and in both loughs are 
small and gamey brown trout. The larger of 
these lakes, Coom Lough, is horse-shoe in shape, 
and its W. side, bounded by the crags and pre- 
cipices of Benoskee, is hard to approach, but the 
southern and eastern shores are fairly accessible. 
The scenery is truly beautiful of its kind, and a 
day spent in this solitude will be appreciated by all 
true lovers of mountain scenery. The ridge of 
hills to the W. of this glen divides this eastern 
valley from the Coumenarde valley and lakes, and 
from the glen of Mahanaboe. 

The return journey can be made either direct 
down the glen as far as Aughashla Cross, and 
thence to Castlegregory Junction, or, if time per- 
mits, and a real wild mountain climb and walk 
offer more attractions, by ascending the hills to 
the S., and keeping along the ridges and across 

194 



TRALEE 

the wild open moorlands, due E, to Glounagalt, 
where the main road and main line to Auniscaul 
from Castlegregory Junction crosses the ridge of 
mountains. This journey is not recommended to 
any but those who are hardy mountaineers. Its 
attractions are many, but possibly might not 
be obvious to all people alike. Fine views of 
mountain and sea can be obtained, and the element 
of adventure and chance comes in with the neces- 
sity for using compass and map. But the journey 
needs good training, and that knowledge of hill 
walking which only comes by practice and experi- 
ence. But the expedition to the loughs of Glounti- 
nassig can be safely recommended to all who are 
capable of walking, and who enjoy wild scenery. 
The way can hardly be missed, and even in 
rain and sea fog there is little chance of being 
benighted. 

Castleisland, Eleven m. S.E. of Tralee by 
road and 1 2 m. by rail lies the town of Castleisland. 
The name of this town is taken from the "Castle 
of the Island,'' a principal stronghold of the Des- 
monds, which, standing out in the plain on an 
"inch," or island, formed by the dividing of the 
river Maine, guarded the passes over the hills 
which separate Kerry from Cork and Limerick. 
A few prone masses of masonry, a gaunt angle of 
a tower, and some lines of foundations amidst the 
emerald green where sheep graze, are all that now 
remain of this once famous castle. It dates to the 
year 121 5, when Geoffrey de Marisco, a nephew 
of the Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow), built it. 
This Geoffrey de Marisco was Justiciar of Ireland, 
and established a community of Knights Hospitallers 
at Awney, in Limerick. Like all the Norman 

195 



KERRY 

settlers, he became fondly attached to Ireland, and 
left instructions that he was to be buried at Awney, 
whither his body was taken after his death on 
French soil. The "Castle of the Island" passed 
to the Geraldines through the marriage of Eleanor 
de Marisco with one of the Desmond chiefs. Later 
in the history of Kerry the castle passed to the 
Herberts, and in the days of King James I. the 
lands of Awney and Hospital were granted to an 
ancestor of the present Earl of Kenmare. 

CordaL Four m. S.E. of Castleisland, and 
on the direct route from that place to King Wil- 
liamstown, the village of Cordal is reached, chiefly 
remarkable for the old tower of Ardnagreagh, one 
of the outlying castles around the great stronghold 
of " the Island," and for the little graveyard on the 
L. hand side of the road, close under the hills, 
called Kilonanaim, or the *' Church of the Name." 
Here it was that the body of the last luckless 
Gerald, Earl of Desmond, was buried. 

Brosna. A fine wild drive or cycle ride can be 
made from Castleisland to Brosna (lO m.), and 
thence down the valley of the Feale to Kilkinlea, 
and then turning to the L., pursuing the way by 
Knocknagoshel and Ivy Bridge to Tralee. The 
whole distance from Castleisland by this route to 
Tralee is 3 i m. The roads are fairly good, sandy, 
mountain tracks, and the scenery presents a different 
character to the rest of Kerry — long sweeps of 
moorland, with far distant low hills. The air of 
this upland district is most invigorating. 

Ardnagreagh (the Height of the Plunders), 
mentioned as one of the outposts of the great 
" Castle of the Island," was the principal castle of 
a branch of the Fitzgeralds who were known as the 

196 



1/ DINGLE 

"Aicme" (sept) or "Clann in Triucha" (the 
"Clan of the Cantred"), and it is interesting to 
note that the name of the barony, Trughenacmy, 
comes from these two designations, meaning Triucha 
and Aicme — the Cantred of the clan or sept. 

Thomas FitzDavid Gerald of Ardnagreagh was 
attainted of high treason and his lands forfeited. 



CHAPTER IX 

DINGLE 

I. Approaches, The barony of Corkaguiny 
(*'the Fruitful Land'^), to quote the words of the 
historian Camden, " shoots like a little tongue into 
the sea, roaring on both sides of it." Dingle is 
the chief town in this barony, and from there as 
a centre excursions can be made to some of the 
most beautiful and interesting parts of the county 
of Kerry. 

(i) The easiest and quickest way to get to 
Dingle is by the line of light railway (31 m.) 
direct from Tralee. This little up-and-down, 
narrow-gauge line follows as closely as possible the 
old mail-car route, and climbs the hills and runs 
down the steep inclines at a rate of about ten miles 
an hour. On leaving Tralee the first station is in the 
crumbling village of Blennerville, where gaunt and 
forsaken storehouses tell of days long past and 
gone when corn was exported in large amount from 
Kerry. From this point the route lies along the 
base of the Slieve Mish Mountains, where fine 
views of Tralee Bay and the distant cliffs of Kerry 

197 



KERRY 

Head are obtained. On clear days the far-away 
point of Loop Head and the low hills of Clare 
are seen beyond the mouth of the Shannon. At 
Castlegregory Junction (lo m.) the line swings 
to the L., and crossing the gorge of the Finglas 
River, rises gradually for 4 m. to the summit of 
Gloun-na-galt. When crossing the Finglas River 
there is a very fine bit of scenery on the L., 
Caherconree rising on one side of the glen to the 
height of 2713 ft. 

It may be not out of place to tell here the legend 
connected with this great mountain — a legend of 
Ireland's heroic age when Connor MacNessa 
reigned in the palace of Emania. At that time 
there dweh in the Isle of Mana, off the coast 
of Scotland, a beautiful maid named Blanaid, in 
a palace stored with gold and priceless gems. 
The " Knights of the Red Branch," whose 
leader was the hero Cuchullin, gathered in force to 
plunder this isle, and a warrior named Conrigh or 
Curoi of Daire, hearing of the plan, disguised him- 
self as a grey-coated clown and offered his services, 
saying he himself would take possession of the 
island fortress if he was given a choice of the 
jewels it contained. So the fort of Mana vvas 
plundered, and Blanaid the beautiful borne away. 
But when the knights came to divide the spoil 
the clown in the grey garb said, " Blanaid is the 
treasure I claim." And Cuchullin made answer, 
" Take thy choice of all the other jewels except 
Blanaid." But the clown replied, " I will 
take no exchange for her." And having 
an enchanted mask he bore away the maid 
unperceived to the southern shore of Munster. 
Cuchullin loved the beautiful Blanaid dearly, and 

198 



DINGLE 

guided by a great flock of dark birds, he followed 
over the sea and found the maiden alone on the 
banks of the Finglas or white brook in Kerry. 
There she told the hero that she loved him above 
all other men, and implored him to come at the 
season of All Hallows with an armed force to carry 
her away. A signal was agreed on between 
Cuchullin and Blanaid. Encamped with his 
forces in a neighbouring forest, he was to watch 
the stream, and when he saw its waters running 
white he was to attack Curoi's stronghold. 

Then Blanaid persuaded Curoi of Daire to build 
a fortress on the summit of the mountain of Caher- 
conree which should surpass all the kingly forts of 
Erin, and to send his men throughout the land to 
find the greatest stones wherewith to build it. 
The guard being dispersed abroad, and Curoi 
alone and defenceless, Blanaid obtained numerous 
pails of milk and poured them into the stream. 
Cuchullin, seeing the waters running white and 
remembering the signal agreed upon, rushed in and 
slew Curoi of Daire and carried off the faithless 
Blanaid to Ulster to the palace of Emania. 
But Curoi's bard pursued the pair and found them 
on the promontory of Ken Barra with Connor 
MacNessa and a great company of knights and 
warriors. The bard watched his opportunity, 
and seeing Blanaid approach to the edge of the 
cliffs he came behind her and caught her in 
his arms and sprang with her into the wild sea. 
Such is the story of Curoi of Daire and beautiful 
faithless Blanaid, and the Finglas River to this day 
flows white in flood to bring the legend to mind. 

On the R. of the railway as it ascends the side 
of the mountain may be seen far away Brandon 

199 



KERRY 

Head, and nearer the white houses of the village of 
Castlegregory and the long spit of sand running 
into the Magharee Islands, which divide Tralee 
and Brandon Bays. Right below the line of rail 
is the flat alluvial plain studded with farms 
and looking rich and prosperous. Nearer at 
hand, Benoskee Mountain rises 2713 ft. in the 
air, to send offshoots which form the western 
boundary of the lonely little valley called Gloun- 
na-galt, or the " Glen of the Fools,'* so called from 
the tradition which says that all mad people find 
their way by instinct to the depths of this glen 
to drink of the well which is there to be seen. 
After topping Gloun-na-galt the line descends an 
incline which gives exquisite peeps of the sea and 
the Iveragh Mountains beyond Dingle Bay to 
Auniscaul, a quiet little village which gives many 
a stalwart lad to His Majesty's navy. From 
there *'the line again rises and affords some more 
beautiful views of the Bay of Dingle on the 
L. and of the bare wild mountains on the R. 
till it dips once more at Lispole and crosses 
a mountain stream by a fine iron girder bridge. 
The hill towering up on the R. at Lispole is- 
Listorgan (2001 ft.), at the back of which are the 
wild and beautiful Coumanare Lakes, of which 
something will be said further on in this Guide. 

From Lispole, 5 m. of flat bog country with an 
inbreak of the sea on the L., called the " Short 
Strand," and the range of the Connor Hill on the 
R., brings you to Ballintaggart. It was out in this 
flat bogland that the fight took place between the 
Knight of Kerry and Sir Charles Wilmot's forces in 
the year 1601. At Ballintaggart, a sharp turn to 
the R. brings into full view the bay and harbour 

200 



DINGLE 

of Dingle, the distant island of Valencia, with the 
Skelligs Rocks and the rounded mass of Mount Eagle. 
Across the waters of Dingle Harbour may be 
seen the planted slopes around Burnham House, 
the home of Lord Ventry. A mile farther on the 
town of Dingle is reached. 

(2) But there is another way to arrive which 
can be recommended as possessing more attractions, 
though withal more tedious and longer in point 
of time. The light railway should be taken 
advantage of as far as Castlegregory Junction, 
where a change is made for Castlegregory. 
From the latter place the traveller may go either 
by car or bicycle along by Steadbally and the base 
of Beenoskee Mountain to the cross-roads at Hill- 
ville (5 m.). A very fine view of the wide 
expanse of Brandon Bay backed by Brandon 
Mountain is obtained along the entire distance. 
At the cross of Hillville keep the road to the 
L., and passing along by BallydufF and Kilmore 
keep straight on for Connor Hill. Some of the 
finest scenery in Kerry is obtained on this route. 
The first glen on the L. when the road crosses a 
bridge over a stream, and then leans somewhat to 
the right, is Mahanaboe. The next stream met with 
comes from Lough-a-Doon, and if rain has been 
about, the waterfall at the head of the lough can be 
seen racing down the mountain side, though the lough 
itself cannot be viewed from the road. The deep 
*^ coum,'^ higher up to the R. as you face the water- 
fall, marks the site of Lough Coumclahane, beneath 
the high summit of Slieveanea (2024 ft.). 
Farther on, when the bit of scrubby wood at 
Kilmore is past, and the road begins to rise, Mount 
Brandon is seen in all its beauty of colour and 

201 



KERRY 

outline, rising from the broad valley of Cloghane. 
For 4 m. the road winds up the mountain side, 
giving views, one more charming than another, till 
the Pedlar's Lake is reached. 

The scenery here should be carefully observed, 
for it is said that the tumbled masses of rock in the 
gorge below the little bridge, under which flows 
the stream from the lake, are the " moraine '^ of a mi 
glacier, and evidence of ice action may be observed I 
on the smooth rocks on the L. hand side of the 
road. In the cliffs, along the side of this pass, the 
" London Pride " [Saxifraga umhrosa) grows in A 
profusion. The summit of the Connor Hill * 
Pass (1258 ft.) gives a wonderful view: to the 
S. the bay and the harbour of Dingle, and 
the long range of Iveragh Mountains, ending 
with Valencia ; to the N. the whole Brandon 
range, with Lough Cruttin sunk in the depths 
of the mass. The country below is laid out like 
a map, and over the wide sweep of Brandon Bay 
can be seen Kerry Head and Loop Head, and on 
a very clear day the dim coastline of Gal way. 
From this height the road descends gradually to 
Dingle (4 m.), opening up view after view from 
the Skelligs Rocks to the high points of the Reeks, 
far away to the E. 

(3) There is a third way to get to Dingle. 
From Killarney, by train via Farranfore to 
Castlemaine, and thence along a somewhat dull 
road (10 m.) to Inch. From Inch to Auniscaul 
the road runs along the cliffs, a veritable Riviera 
road, where wild thyme and heather grow in 
profusion. From Auniscal to Dingle the road 
runs along the railway route already described 
for the whole distance. But the advantage of 

202 



DINGLE 

going by this coast route is, that an opportunity 
can be taken of visiting Minard Castle, 4 m. 
from Auniscaul, and off the line of railway. 

II. Dingle, surrounded almost by hills and on 
the shores of a shallow harbour, was once an im- 
portant seaport town, enjoying a considerable trade 
with Spain. Queen Elizabeth, in 1585, granted a 
charter to the town, and gave it the same privileges 
enjoyed by the town of Drogheda. She also gave 
^300 to defray the cost of walling the town. 
James I. renewed its privileges, and gave it a 
charter to elect a "Sovereign" on St James's 
Day. A sword and mace were carried before this 
important person, and he was empowered to act 
as Justice of the Peace and Coroner, and had a con- 
siderable share of authority. At the present day 
there is Httle to remind visitors of past greatness. 
The fishing trade still flourishes, and the fine 
fleet of trawlers is evidence of the enterprise of the 
hardy sailor fishermen of this ancient seaport. 
On the hill, facing the entrance to the town from 
the E., stands the Catholic church, built of warm 
red sandstone, and in very good taste. Attached 
to it is the Presentation Convent. On the opposite 
slope, and on the R. of the railway station, is 
the school and religious house belonging to the 
Christian Brothers. 

The AngHcan Church, dedicated to St James, 
and alleged to have been built at the cost of the 
Spanish merchants and traders, though this seems 
unlikely, stands a little off the main street. It 
is a small unpretentious building, but contains 
an interesting tablet to a former Knight 
of Kerry, the inscription on which runs as 
follows : — 

203 



KERRY 

** Immodicis Brevis Est ^tas 

Et rara Senectus. 

H. S. E. 

Jonaiines FitzGerald. Eques Kerriensis, 

Ell Antiqua Stirpe Equitum Kerriensium, 

Oriundus 

Suavitate Ingenii, Et integritate morum eximius 

Erat in ore Venustus, 

In pectore Benevolentia 

In Verbis Fides 

Candidus, Faciiis, Jucundus 

Quot notos tot habuit amicos 

Inimicum certe neminem 

Talis quum esset. Febri Correptus 

Immature obiit 

A.D. 1741. 

Hoc Monumentum 

Charrissimi mariti memorise sacrum 

Margaretta Conjux 

Moerens Posuit." 



It has been translated as follows : — 

" To the immoral, Life is short and old age rare. 

Here lies buried 

John FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry, 

Sprung from the ancient race of the 

Knights of Kerry. Remarkable for the 

sweetness of his disposition and the 

purity of his morals. 

He was beautiful in countenance, 

Benevolence was in his heart and 

Truth in his words. 

He was upright, gentle and equable. 

Every acquaintance was a friend, not one an enemy. 

Being such a man, seized by fever, he died prematurely 

in the 35th year of his age, a.d. 1741. 

Sacred to the memory of her beloved husband. 

His grieving wife Margaret erected this monument. 

Behind the church stands "The Grove," a some- 
what dilapidated building, surrounded by trees. This 

204 



DINGLE 

was the old home of the Knights of Kerry in days 
long past. It was burnt during the Desmond wars. 
In course of time "The Grove" passed to the 
Townsend family, when the Knights of Kerry took 
up their residence at Glanleam, in Valencia Island, 
(i) From Dingle round Slea Head, This 
attractive drive or cycle ride affords magnificent 
views of cliff and sea scenery, and takes the visitor 
through some remarkably interesting country, in- 
teresting from an antiquarian as well as a scenic 
point of view. Leaving Dingle by the western 
road, which skirts the E. shore of the 
harbour, Milltown Cross is reached (i|^ m.). 
The road turns sharp to the L. over the bridge, 
and ascending the steep hill meets the old road to 
Ventry at Monaree Cross. Keeping still the L. 
hand road over the little stream of Monaree, the 
traveller passes the entrance to Burnham House, 
formerly called Ballingolin, the residence of 
Lord Ventry. The grounds around the house have 
been carefully planted, and the shelter afforded by 
these plantations allows the bamboo, tree-fern, 
and many choice varieties of shrubs to flourish. 
The escalonia hedges, dracaenas, and tree- 
ferns in the gardens and grounds at Burnham 
are well worth inspecting ; but as the grounds 
are private, permission has to be obtained. 
The ground, sloping up to the house from the 
shores of Dingle Harbour, rises to some 600 ft. in 
the cHffs of Eske, and, dipping towards the N., 
goes to form the low cliffs along the E. side of 
Ventry Harbour to the low, sandy, northern shore. 
Continuing along, past Burnham, to the small 
collection of thatched cottages at Ballymore, the 
road swings to the R., and brings full into 

205 



KERRY 

view Mount Eagle (1695 ft.), and Marhin Peak 
(1357 ft.), and the wave- washed sands of Ventry, 
a truly beautiful view. On the R. of the road 
are some interesting antiquarian remains of sub- 
terranean houses, beehive huts, or " cloghanes." 

Ventry village (4 m.) consists of a small 
number of houses which look right over the 
harbour to the coastguard station on the far side. 
A short distance beyond the village the road 
for Slea Head turns to the L., that going 
straight N. leading to Rahinane Castle, and 
eventually by a wild mountain track, with a fair 
surface, to Ballyferriter and Smerwick harbour. 

(2) Rahinane, standing ruined and forsaken on 
the slope of the hill, was formerly the old 
country house of the Knights of Kerry, whose 
town house was " The Grove '' in Dingle. 
The remains of this once strong castle afford 
a fair example of the ancient " keeps," which 
were formerly held in the stormy days of old. 
The castle was burnt and destroyed by Sir 
Charles Wilmot in 1601, when he was sent to 
reduce Kerry to submission after the abortive 
rising under O'Neill and O'Donnell. The 
Knight of Kerry at that period was daring 
enough to take the field in opposition to the 
English forces, and having met with defeat at 
Ballinahow, near Dingle, he paid the penalty in 
the loss of his castle of Rahinane. 

Leaving Rahinane behind, and returning to the 
cross-road near Ventry village, the traveller continues 
on past the lonely little chapel on the L., and 
having Marhin and Mount Eagle on his R. for 
some 3 m., always keeping the L. hand road, to 
Fahan, where the old watch-tower stands on the 

206 



DINGLE 

cliffs overlooking the sea, a short distance from the 
main road. This old tower, like many others 
around the coast, was built for the accommodation 
of soldiers when Ireland was threatened by a 
French invasion in the days of Napoleon. Near 
Fahan, and on the L. of the road, is Dunbeg Fort. 
This fine specimen of cyclopean work, marking 
the culminating period of Irish heroic history just 
prior to the introduction of Christianity, consists 
of three ramparts and a main stone wall, reaching 
across the headland on which the fort stands. 
This wall is 200 ft. long and 22 ft. thick. The 
inner wall is 9 ft. in height and the outer 5 ft. 
The doorway in this massive construction is 
specially worthy of notice. A mile beyond 
Dunbeg, on the R. of the road, is a collection of 
beehive huts, some of them being in an excellent 
state of repair. This interesting group of build- 
ings goes usually by the name of *' The Town." 
Here also we are face to face with the pre- 
historic age merging into the ecclesiastical period. 
Thence the good, fairly surfaced road winds 
along the edge of the cliffs, at the base of Mount 
Eagle, affording fine views of the Blasket Islands, 
Innishnabro, Innishvickillane, and the Great Blasket 
and Beginish. At Dunquin, the little fishing 
village opposite the Great Blasket, a boat may 
be obtained and a visit made to the nearer islands. 
And here it may not be out of place to give 
some short notices of these interesting outposts of 
Kerry. 

(3) The Blasket Islands. The name Blasket 
is said to be derived from the Irish word 
" Blaosc " or " Blaosg," meaning a scale or 
shell, and like most Celtic names its meaning 

207 



KERRY 

is apparent, the islands being "scaled" ofF the 
mainland. Formerly they were part of the 
possessions of the great Earls of Desmond. 
A family of the name of Ferriter obtained them 
as a gift, and afterwards forfeited them to the 
Crown when the Desmond wars were over. 
In 1586 they were granted by letters patent to 
George Stone, of Kingston, in Surrey, and 
Cornelius Champion, and eventually they were 
sold to Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, and 
have been in the family down to the present day. 
These islands were the centres of a large Spanish 
fishing industry in the days of Queen Elizabeth. 
It was in the " Sound," with its treacherous 
rocks and rushing tide, that Our Lady of the 
Rosary^ one of the Spanish Armada, was wrecked 
on Tuesday, loth September 1588. This badly 
battered ship, of 1000 tons burden, her tackle torn 
by shot, and a hole in her hull between wind and 
water, laboured on to try and reach a harbour. 
She was commanded by the Prince of Ascule, 
son of the King of Spain, and with him were Don 
Pedro, Don Diego, Don Francesco, and seventy 
other " gentlemen of account," and a ship's com- 
pany numbering in all five hundred souls, and 
Michel Ocquendo was *' governor" of the ship. 
The pilot, " small blame to him," as they say, 
ran her on a rock by accident, and only one person 
out of the whole number on board was saved. 
This man, John Antonio de Monona, son of the 
pilot, and a Genoese by birth, was afterwards 
examined by Sir William Herbert, Lord President 
of Munster, and in his statement gave a minute 
description of the Prince of Ascule, telling how, 
when the ship went down, this gay Spaniard was 

208 



DINGLE 

clothed in a suit of white satin, with russet silk 
stockings, and his " doublet and breeches cut after 
the Spanish mode " — a gallant if ineffective figure 
to be wrecked in the Blasket Sound ! 

The Great Blasket is three miles in length, and 
is inhabited by a few families. On the Tearaght 
to the W. is a lighthouse. To this rock the puffins 
come in spring to nest, and the little storm petrel, 
or " Mother Carey's chicken," finds a home for its 
young in the clefts of the rocks. The remains of 
an ancient church are to be seen on Innishvickillane. 

At Dunmore Head the traveller stands on the 
extreme western point of the mainland of Ireland. 
Dunquin, the little village where the people speak 
Gaelic in the cottages, is the "next parish to 
America," in the language of the district. 
Onwards the road winds, crossing here and there 
a mountain streamlet, or dipping down some steep 
" coum," till Clogher Head is reached, and a good 
view is obtained of Innistooskert, lying out on the 
sea, and the Tearaght, almost on the horizon. 
The road trends E. from Clogher Head, and 
gives good views of Sybil Head and the *« Three 
Sisters," and in the far distance Smerwick Har- 
bour, beyond which rises Ballydavid Head and the 
imposing height of Brandon. 

Ballyferriter village, sheltering under Marhin 
Mountain, is the place from which to make an 
expedition to Fort del Ore, situated on the W. 
shore of Smerwick Harbour, and distant about 2 m. 
from Ballyferriter village. A fair road leads to- 
wards the sands of Smerwick, and bicycles can be left 
in a neighbouring cottage as the road ends in the sands. 
A flat bit of bog land, rich in summer time with 
a wealth of wild flowers, lies between Ballyferriter 

o 209 



KERRY 

and the slopes of the " Three Sisters," the points 
which mark the clifF line to the N. At the foot 
of the eastern " Sister," and not far from the 
cluster of cottages forming the village of Smerwick, 
is the famous Fort del Ore of unhappy memory. 

(4) Any of the country folk will point out 
the place, and show the old earthworks, 
still visible, and the causeway connecting the 
miniature rock fortress with the mainland. An 
observer cannot fail to be struck with the 
smallness of the fort and its surroundings, and 
when he calls to mind the fact that from 600 
to 800 Spanish and Italian adventurers held 
it against Lord Grey de Wilton in 1580, he can- 
not help wondering at the temerity of the 
strangers who thus ventured to defy disciplined and 
well-armed forces in such an untenable position. 
Every one knows the story, how in the winter 
weather of 1580 the English soldiers, with whom 
was Edmund Spenser the poet, and Walter Raleigh, 
then a young captain in the Queen's service, dream- 
ing of glory to come, marched from Dingle to 
reduce this so-called fortress. How Admiral 
Winter, sailing round to co-operate, with the little 
Hevenge and other ships, assisted in the bombard- 
ment, and how, after a three days' fight, the garrison 
capitulated and were put to the sword and thrown 
into the sea. 

It is a tale of rough and savage warfare, 
which sounds strange to us in modern days. 
Whether we accept the story that Lord Grey 
broke his faith with the enemy, or the version 
which makes the unconditional surrender of the 
invaders an excuse for the savage butchery, we 
must admit that the killing of the garrison has left 

210 



DINGLE 

a stain on the names of gallant gentlemen who 
served their land right well in after years. 
In the State Paper Office there is a plan of this 
fort, with the guns firing, and the English ships 
bearing names which sound homely to this day — 
the Achate^ the Tiger., the Marlyon^ the Swiftsure^ 
the Revenge, Fort del Ore takes its name, the 
" Golden Fort," from supposed treasure said to 
be hidden there by the Spanish ; also perhaps 
from the fact that one of Martin Frobisher's 
treasure ships was wrecked in Smerwick Harbour, 
and the gold buried near here. This tradition 
of hidden gold obtains to this day. Returning 
to Ballyferriter, the road continues E., with a 
branch turning sharp to the R., which leads 
back by Rahinane to Ventry, about i m. from 
the village. 

The return journey may be made either by 
this route or continuing on still E. to the 
pass of Knockavrogeen, and thence almost in 
a straight line S. (4 m.) to Milltown and Dingle. 
Perhaps, as this road will have to be traversed in 
the journey on another occasion to Gallerus, a 
pleasant variety might be made by returning from 
Ballyferriter by the mountain road by Rahinane 
and Ventry, and turning to the L. in Ventry 
village to take the old road to Monaree Cross, and 
so to Dingle. 

( 5 ) Dingle to Gallerus Oratory and Kilmal- 
chedor. Leaving Dingle again by the road along 
the E. side of the harbour, or over the hill by the 
Poor House at Milltown, cross the bridge and 
turn to the R. just beyond the mill. This road 
runs straight as a die for about 2 m. to the rise of the 
hill which leads to the pass of Knockavrogeen. 

211 



KERRY 

At this point three roads meet ; one going to 
the L. leads on to Ballyferriter, Smerwick, and 
Fort del Ore, another good road winding round 
the shoulder of the hill to the E. leads to Kilmal- 
chedor, whilst a third drops down through a collec- 
tion of cottages to Gallerus Castle, built by the 
Knights of Kerry long ago, which may be seen in 
the flat land beneath. 

. Gallerus Oratory, Following this last-named 
road for ;| of a mile the traveller sees on his R. 
the quaint stone-roofed oratory of Gallerus, distant 
a few yards from the road. This oratory, with 
the group of beehive huts close by, is one of the best 
specimens of the earliest period of Christian archi- 
tecture, which in this particular district is so closely 
connected with the name and fame of St Brandon. 
A low doorway leads to the interior, which is 
lighted by a solitary E. window, circular in shape. 
No ornament of any kind is seen in this rude 
edifice, but the mind is impressed by the severe, cold, 
ascetic shrine which brings so forcibly back the 
early missionary efforts of the Celtic Church, and 
the days when the followers of Christ fled to the 
wilderness and the lonely isles to pray and preach 
and civilise the land which was torn by strife. 

Here we are in the heart of St Brandon's 
country ; for though his life was a busy and active 
one from the early days, when he studied with St 
Jarlath of Tuam and St Finian of Clonard, em- 
bracing a journey to Brittany and the foundation 
of a monastery there, the founding of Ardfert 
and a journey to America, it would seem that 
his heart was ever in his Kerry home, in the 
shadow of the mountain which bears his name. 
It is a remarkable fact that in springtime the 

212 



DINGLE 

ground about these old shrines of prayer is always 
decked with the fairest flowers — blue hyacinths 
and primroses seem to flourish around them more 
than in other spots, as though Nature had deter- 
mined to perpetuate the memory of these simple 
lives. 

Returning to the cross-roads at the top of Knock- 
avrogeen Pass, and taking the eastern route which 
leads towards the village of Kilmalchedor, collec- 
tions of beehive huts are to be seen on the L. of 
the road. About a mile and a half from the cross- >v^ 
roads the old cathedral of Kilmalchedor is seen, 
grey and roofless, but venerable in its memories, and 
hard by is the monastery where St Brandon dwelt. 
The traveller is now on classic ground, for through 
the mists which ages have gathered round the story 
of St Brandon the main facts shine bright and clear. 
Here is the home of the saint, and here the site 
of the church in which he said Mass and preached 
the Gospel to the people. Behind the church, and 
leading over hill and dale, ever going upwards, is 
the pilgrims' road leading to the summit of Mount 
Brandon, 3127 ft. above the sea, where the remains 
of the oratory are still to be seen, and the holy well 
which is never dry, even in the hottest weather. 
Four m. have to be traversed between the 
cathedral of Kilmalchedor and the oratory on the 
mountain top, and if the modern traveller cares 
to tread the way of the saint, he will be well 
rewarded by the lovely views of sea and mountain 
to be obtained along the route. 

Legend says that on one occasion St Brandon 
forgot his missal on his way to the oratory, and 
so great was the company of holy followers that 
word was passed from mouth to mouth along the 

213 



KERRY 

"pilgrim's way/' and the book handed up from 
hand to hand. Strange as this legend may seem, 
the learned Society of Antiquarians has asserted 
that it loses its improbability when the multi- 
tude of evidence of a vast community of holy 
men is found on every side in this district. 
Other legends of the saint are still to be heard 
from the country people — legends of St Brandon's 
cow and the thief who stole it— the prints of whose 
hand and knee may still be seen in the rocks by the 
roadside. St Brandon has been named the 
"Navigator," and it is said that he, and not 4 
Columbus, was the first discoverer of America, 
Sailing away to the N.W. he landed on the 
shores of the New World, and there met an angel 
who told him that the time for the conversion of 
the North American tribes had not yet arrived. 
So the saint returned. All these legends, and 
many more besides, which there is no space to 
recount, can be heard in this district to the 
present day. 
^/ (6) The Cathedral of Kilmalchedor, The 
"^Z church of St Malchedor, who was a contemporary 
of St Brandon, is said by some to have been built 
by the Spaniards ; but this is doubtful. The Roman- 
esque architecture points to the date as being about the 
9th century of the Christian era, but probably there 
was an ecclesiastical structure even before that time. 
The pillar stone at the W. end of the church is 
said to be one of the most ancient of monuments, 
and bears the whole alphabet of the 6th century ini 
Roman characters, above which is inscribed the? 
word " Domine." The round-arched, "dog- 
toothed," western doorway and the Wind 
arcade with round pillars in the interior of 

214 



DINGLE 

the chancel are worth observing. The E. 
window, round topped also, bears evidence 
of the friction of human bodies, for people still 
crawl through it to cure them of their ailments. 
Rude stone crosses stand in the graveyard, mark- 
ing long-forgotten graves. The foundation of this 
church is later than the oratory at Gallerus, 
though, in all probability, the latter was used at 
the same time as the cathedral. — " 

Leaving Kilmalchedor and all its interesting relics 
of bye-gone days, the road leads E. and then N. and 
E. again, past another stone oratory (i m.) similar 
to that at Gallerus, but in a less perfect state of 
preservation. At the E. side of the harbour of 
Smerwick is seen the white coastguard station, and a 
good view is obtained up Ballydavid Head, crowned 
by a crumbling tower, one of the many built to 
watch for the foe in the days of the French wars. 
About 4 m. from Kilmalchedor this road meets 
the road leading direct from Dingle to Brandon 
Creek, or, as it is sometimes called, Cloosawithic. 
It would be well to turn to the L. at this point, 
and following the road at the base of Mount Bran- 
don, pay a visit to this creek. A group of fisher- 
men's cottages and a store, where a variety of useful 
articles can be bought, marks the end of this road. 
Crossing the sward a few yards brings the visitor to 
the creek, a deep cleft eaten into the land by the sea. 
A good pier has been built by the " Congested 
Districts Board" here, and 70 or 80 "canoes" 
can be seen turned bottom upwards looking like 
great black beetles. These canoes are formed 
of a frail framework of laths covered with 
tarred canvas, and are most seaworthy craft. On 
an evening when the herring fishing is in full swing 

215 



KERRY 

this creek presents a most animated appearance with 
the crowd of fishermen making ready to embark 
for the night's fishing. It is worth while to ascend 
the cHfFs, either to the R. or L. of this creek, to 
enjoy the fine views of cliffs and sea scenery and 
to hear the cries of the sea birds. It is possible 
here to see a raven or two, and the choughs along 
this part of the coast are comparatively common. 
The return journey from this delightful tour may 
be made by the direct road (lo m. ) which leads 
to Dingle. 

Gallerus Castle. Gallerus Castle, which has 
been mentioned in this chapter, was one of the old 
castles of the Knights of Kerry, and is a mediaeval 
building of the usual type found throughout the 
county. It was probably built as an outpost to 
keep the district around Smerwick and Ballyferriter 
in order. But there is a story connected with 
it which cannot but appeal to all who feel the 
fascination of the wild scenery in this part of Kerry. 
One of the FitzGeralds, when he was dying, 
begged his attendants to carry him to a window 
of the castle where he might see the long line 
of breakers on the shores of Smerwick Harbour. 
Those who know the view will call to mind the 
background of the " Three Sisters," faint in colour, 
over a green and violet sea, and the white foam 
fringing the golden sands. The dying Geraldine 
gazed long at this beautiful scene, and when his 
attendants wished to bear him back to his couch 
he refused to leave the window and was supported 
by their arms. At last he lay quite still and 
silent, and his attendants then saw that he was dead. 
He had died with his last gaze on earth resting 
on this loved Kerry scene. 

216 



DINGLE 

(7) From Dingle to Cloghane and back, over 
the Pass of Mullochveal, A delightful excursion 
can be made by driving from Dingle over the 
Connor Hill Pass to Cloghane village, and from 
that place doubling back along the W. side of 
the Cloghane Valley under the E. slope of 
Brandon Mountain to the White Lake, or Lough 
Gal, as it is sometimes called. From Lough 
Gal the return journey to Dingle can be made 
on foot over the hills by the pass of Mullochveal. 
The total distance traversed by this excursion will 
be 24 m., of which 17 m. can be done by cars. 
Leaving the town of Dingle by the direct road 
for Connor Hill, "The Grove '^ is passed on the 
L. hand, and almost at once there is a gradual 
incline leading for 4 m. to the top of the pass. 
The old road will be seen running straight for 
the hill on the L. of the coach road at first, but 
when the traveller has gone i J m. he crosses this 
old road at right angles, and will see it on his right 
in the valley through which the Garfinny River 
flows. The ascent of Connor Hill from the S. 
does not present the same bold characteristics as 
that from the northern side, which has been before 
mentioned. But the views obtained on a clear day 
are ample reward for the journey ; that of the 
steep side of Mount Brandon rising from the plain 
of " Letteragh,'' which breaks suddenly on the 
traveller on arriving at the top of the pass, being 
one of the finest in the county. 

On descending the incline on the N. side 
of the Connor Pass a ruined farmstead can be 
seen by the side of Lough Clogharee, far below. 
This was once the dwelling of a man who slew 
his neighbour in this desolate district, and the 

217 



KERRY 

ruins bring back the memory of the crime. 
One m. from the top of the pass a great pre- 
cipice, a short way from the road on the R., 
marks the place where lies the " Pedlar's Lake," 
so called from the following story. A wanderer who 
had left his home and the girl he loved, in Aunis- 
caul, returned one dark winter evening disguised as 
a pedlar. Endeavouring to make his way over the 
mountains from Mahanaboe to Auniscaul, he fell in 
with two brothers, who decoyed him to the vicinity 
of this dark place, and having robbed him they 
threw him into the lough. The robbers then went 
over the hills to Auniscaul and showed part of their 
spoil unwittingly to the girl to whom the poor 
^' pedlar " was engaged. She recognised a broken 
sixpence as a love token, and inquiries being made 
the " pedlar's " body was found and buried at 
Killiney, and his poor sweetheart followed him to 
the grave a year later. The ruffians who murdered 
the "pedlar" escaped. 

From the bend of the road at the '' Pedlar's 
Lake " a good view is obtained of the Cloghane 
Valley, which extends across from Connor Hill to 
Brandon, and through which flows the Owenmore 
or Cloghane River. At the head of the glen the 
following loughs can be seen : — The " Black Lake," 
Lough Gal or the White Lake, and Lough Clog- 
haree, whilst far in the recess of Brandon Mountain 
can be seen Lough Cruttia. A few yards on 
the Dingle side of the " Pedlar's Lake " gorge a 
little trickling stream flows down the side b£ the 
rock. The water is said to be the best in Kerry. 
The road on to Kilmore (^2^ m.), at the foot of 
the Connor Hill, is a gradual descent, steeper in 
some places than others. A bit of plantation at 

;2i8 



DINGLE 

Kilmore gives variety to the bare mountain scenery. 
A turn to the L. at this place leads to Cloghane 
Bridge, and after crossing this and going for ^ m. 
towards the village, a road turns sharp to the 
L. and runs along the western side of the broad 
valley of Cloghane. 

This beautiful highland glen is bounded on the 
E. by the mountain chain which begins at Mahan- 
aboe, and includes the Coumenard Mountains, and 
the imposing height of Slieveanea over Lough 
Coumclahane. The southern end of the valley is 
blocked by Ballysitteragh (2050 ft.), which bends 
round to the pass of Mullochveal, and then rises to 
form the " saddleback " peak of Brandon, which 
bounds the valley on the W. Along this mountain 
road the views are magnificent, and it is well to 
note that which is obtained of Brandon from the 
vicinity of the little stream which rises from Lough 
Cruttia to join the Cloghane River. A few 
farm-houses are at this point, and the patches 
of cultivated land, with a few trees, break the 
heathery slopes, at the back of which is the wild 
glen of Lough Cruttia. The lake is not seen 
from the road, but a walk up the hill-side to 
obtain a view of this solitude will be a pleasure 
to any one who cares for wild scenery. Lough 
Avoonane, under the high precipice nearer at 
hand, can also be visited from this point of the 
road. Though different in character from Lough 
Cruttia, the head of this miniature lough formed 
by the sheer side of Brandon Peak is very 
impressive. 

As the road leads on round the shoulder of 
Brandon Peak to the W., views are obtained of 
the " White Lake '' (Lough Gal) and the " Black 

219 



KERRY 

Lake/' almost hidden by the shadowing cliiFs, and 
fronted by the emerald green of the cultivated bit of 
land which surrounds the little village of Mulloch veal. 
Near the White Lake the car must be abandoned, 
as the road, "from this out," as the saying goes, is 
a bad bit of rock and rut, broken in places, when 
the hillside is reached, by the washing of winter 
storms. A zigzag track, suitable enough for foot- 
passengers, leads to the summit of Mullochveal Pass, 
where a glorious view is obtained of the country 
lying to the W. Smerwick Harbour is seen, and 
the Blasket Islands beyond Mount Eagle, and the 
Skelligs Rocks far out to sea. 

There are two ways of getting to Dingle from 
the head of this pass, one by the grassy road which 
falls down the mountain slope to adjoin the main 
road from Dingle to Brandon Creek at the village 
of " Glens." The other, a mere track leading S. 
along the ridge of the mountains, is indicated for 
the most part of the route by a rude line of stones. 
This rough mountain track follows the edge of 
the steep cliffs in places, and crossing the shoulder 
of the Ballysitteragh spur and '* Scraggs," even- 
tually enters Dingle by the low rise behind the 
Workhouse. The stones which mark this path- 
way extend almost in an unbroken line from 
Mullochveal to Dingle in one direction, and in 
the other go up the side of Brandon Peak in the 
direction of the oratory. Possibly in former times 
this was an old pilgrims' road. This supposition is 
borne out by the remains of beehive huts and the 
foundations of an old square chapel with attendant 
cells, which are met with about half-way along the 
route. This is a walk which can be strongly re- 
commended to all who love the mountain scenery. 



DINGLE 

( 8 ) Dingle to Beenbawn Head. Visitors to 
Dingle should not fail to walk along the shores of 
the harbour as far as " Nancy Browne's Parlour," 
a well-known ledge of rock near the little light- 
house. In the caves about this part the Asplenium 
martnum grows profusely. A pathway leads from 
this lighthouse to the top of " Beenbawn Head," 
which stands out boldly against the waters of 
the bay and the distant Iveragh Mountains. From 
Beenbawn Head a delightful extension of the 
walk may be made to the *' Short Strand," or 
'^ Trabeg," which affords a view of Bull Head. 
The cliffs at this part of the coast are not of 
conspicuous height, but the infinite variety of 
colouring and the beauty of their forms makes this 
walk extremely interesting. Turning inland at the 
'' Short Strand," the return journey may be made 
by the little village of Tubber and along the bye- 
road which leads to Ballintaggart. On the green 
hill to the S. of Ballintaggart House an enclosure 
marks the site of a circle of Ogham stones which 
are well worth a visit. 

(9) Ascent of Mount Brandon, There are 
three easy ways of ascending this beautiful mountain. 

I. From Ballinloughig village, distant 7 m. 
from Dingle on the road direct to Brandon Creek. 
The ascent from this point is quite simple, and a 
couple of hours' walking takes the climber to the 
top of the mountain. Any one in the village of 
Ballinloughig will point to the direction, and there 
is nothing except a possible mist to prevent the 
most inexperienced climber finding his way. In 
this ascent the deep gorge, where the Feohana 
River rises, is left on the R. hand side, and, should 
time permit, it would be well to vary the return 

221 



KERRY 

journey by descending near the head of this fine 
glen and following the line of the river back to the 
village. 

2. Along the hill slope N. of the town of 
Dingle, before indicated, to the top of Mullochveal 
Pass, and thence along the W. side of the saddle- 
back peak of Brandon to the summit by way of the 
ridge of the mountain. This route is longer in point 
of time. 

3. From the village of Cloghane an ascent can 
be made by the comparatively easy slope which the 
shoulder of the hill affords, keeping the great wild 
glen, where Lough Cruttia lies, on the L. hand 
side. This is a well-known ascent, but if the 
weather is cloudy or the mist is hanging about, it 
would be well to take a guide. On the higher 
point of Mount Brandon are the remains of the 
old oratory where St Brandon said Mass, and 
also the holy well, which is said never to be dry, 
even in the hottest and driest summer weather. 
The view from the top of Brandon is one of the 
celebrated sights of Kerry, and it is enhanced by 
the magnificent cliffs, which seem to break off 
suddenly on the E. side and to go sheer down to 
the Cloghane valley. Experienced mountain climbers 
might find great joy in descending the mountain by 
the wild Lough Cruttia gorge. But this cannot be 
recommended to any but experienced mountaineers. 
From the summit on a clear day may be seen, far 
away to the N.E. over the well-known headlands 
of Kerry and Clare, the dim coast of Galway ; 
to the S.E. the Killarney Lakes and mountains 
and Caragh Lake, whilst to the S. are seen the 
whole chain of Iveragh Mountains, Valencia 
Island, the Skelligs, Bull, Cow, and Calf Rocks, 

222 



DINGLE 

Dursey Island. All the Blaskets are seen to the 
W. It is a marvellous view, and one never to be 
forgotten. But a clear day is essential. 

(lo) Dingle to Castlegregory^ over Connor 
Hill. The journey over Connor Hill has been de- 
scribed in another portion of this Guide, and it only 
remains to endeavour to point out the way by which 
a traveller may vary his return journey from Dingle 
by visiting Castlegregory and the "Magharees." 
After passing Kilmore at the foot of the northern 
slope of Connor Hill, the road continues on straight 
to the cross near '' Hilleville.'^ A diversion might 
be made by turning to the L. a mile from Kilmore, 
and following the road which runs by the side of 
the little Glennahoo River to the bridge (i ni.) near 
the school-house of Farranakilla. Crossing this 
bridge, and continuing the journey to the E. by the 
side of the inlet which lies between the sandhills 
and the wooded slopes of Fermoyle, the traveller 
joins the direct road again at Hilleville Cross. 
Half a mile beyond the village of Stradbally 
(2 m. from Hilleville Cross) a road leads to the 
L. direct for Castlegregory, passing the little church 
of Killiney on the R. hand side. To visit the 
Magharee Islands a stop should be made in the 
village of Castlegregory, and the directions given by 
any courteous inhabitant of that little hamlet should 
be followed. The road to the Magharees leaves 
the village at its northern end, and running (i m.) 
N. crosses a little bridge over the river flowing from 
Lough Gill, the shallow lake which lies between 
the sandhills and the rest of Ireland. From this 
bridge there is but a sandy shore road winding 
through the dunes, where potatoes are cultivated 
with great success, to a collection of houses called 

223 



KERRY 

Killshannig. Here a canoe may be obtained to 
cross the strait which lies between the main 
island and the sandy peninsula of the Magharees. 
The group of islands called the " Magharee " or 
" Seven Hogs " Islands consists of Illauntannig or 
Leary's Island, Illaunimmil, Innishtooskert, and 
Gurrig Island, and a few others which are little 
more than wave-washed rocks. 

Leary's Island or Illauntannig is the only one 
inhabited, and on it are to be found the remains of 
an old church with beehive huts and an old 
rude cross about which wonderful legends have 
gathered. Once upon a time some daring soul 
transported this cross to the mainland, but by 
some mysterious means it was borne back to the 
island again and has remained there ever since. 
The church, too, has its legend. Kilsagnene or 
Kilshannig means the "lonesome church,'' and 
tradition has it that at some remote period of our 
history a Spanish ship arrived here with a number 
of the crew dead of some frightful unknown disease. 
The survivors interred the bodies in the night 
time in this church, and ever since then the people 
of Kilshannig have been afraid to open any new 
grave in this place lest they should " wake the 
plague." 

" R." in the Kerry Magazine wrote years ago 
about this, but there is only space here for one verse 
of the poem — 

<* And never from the day of fate 
Was burial in Kilshannig known, 
Plague smit, abandoned, desolate, 
The « Lone Church' stands forever lone." 

There are the legends connected with Kilshannig 
and the islands, some of which are here briefly given. 

224 



m^- 




JLii 



DOORWAY, GAI.LERUS ORATORY 



DINGLE 

Many years ago, when vessels went with grain 
from Tralee to Limerick up the Shannon, a strange 
vessel called the York hailed a grain ship off Kerry 
Head — " Ahoy there, can you guide us to Tralee \ " 
The Kerry men hove to and then bore off S. 
towards the Magharees with the strange ship 
following in their wake. Pirates were not un- 
common in those days, and the Kerry men as they 
sailed came to the conclusion that the stranger was 
a pirate. So they piloted her through the channel 
which separates the large island of Illauntannig 
from the mainland. There the York struck on 
a rock. She had fifty men on board, and was 
laden with chests of gold and treasure. Im- 
mediately on striking the rock, the crew of the 
Torh trained their bow guns on the Kerry boat 
which had piloted them to their doom. But their 
shots fell wide of the mark, and the Kerry men 
arrived safely in Castlegregory, leaving the pirates 
to their fate. Some of the crew of the pirate 
craft landed at Kilshannig and asked the people 
how many harvests they had in the year, and on 
being told two, they answered, "Well, there's 
two more for you if you come out to the wreck." 
Some of the Kilshannig people went out and 
were presented with two chests of gold, which were 
so heavy that they capsized the canoe and went to 
the bottom of the sea. The rest of the cargo of 
gold was safely salved by the pirates, who disap- 
peared mysteriously and were never heard of again. 
Many years after this event, divers came to try 
and recover the two lost chests ; but on descending 
they found them guarded by serpents " as big as 
horses," and were obliged to give up the work. So 
the chests of gold still remain beneath the green 

p. 225 



KERRY 

waters in the Magharee Channel. This story of the 
pirate ship can still be heard in the neighbourhood, 
and it sounds better when told in the graphic 
language of the district. 

Another legend is here given as it was taken 
down a short while ago from the lips of an inhabi- 
tant. It is the legend of a mermaid. Many years 
since- — not in the days of the oldest man now 
living in Kilshannig, but in the days of the father 
of the oldest living inhabitant, it happened that 
a fisherman was going along the kelp covered 
rocks to his usual fishing ground where he stood 
the day long waiting for a nibble from a wrass. 
As he walked along he saw a mermaid seated on 
a rock combing her hair, and having a white wand 
by her side. Going up to her, he put his hand on 
her shoulder, and she rose up and went with him 
to his house and remained with him as his wife. 
She was a beautiful woman, and stayed quite 
contentedly in his cottage by the sea. But at 
times she was restless for the loss of her white 
wand, which had been taken away and hidden. 
Three children were born, and all had webbed feet. 
As time went on the mermaid wife seemed to for- 
get her former sea life. A big seal, it is true, came 
daily to the rocks to bask in the sun at low tide, 
but she did not seem to notice him, and apparently 
had no thought of changing her life for his sake. 
But one day, however, when her husband was 
going out fishing, and was searching for his lines 
amongst the rubbish in the recess over the fireplace 
in the cottage, he dislodged the white wand which 
had been hidden and forgotten many years before. 
In a moment his wife snapped it up and ran from 
the house and was never seen or heard of again. 

226 



DINGLE 

The big seal ceased to come to the rocks at low 
tide, and the memory alone of the mermaid wife 
remained in the district. 

There is another seal story told about Kilshannig. 
One day a fisherman went off to kill a seal. After a 
time of waiting a large specimen was seen on the rocks 
with two young ones, " and no mother,'^ he said, 
" could be more careful about putting her babies to 
sleep." By and by, when the seal had settled her 
family and lulled them to rest, the fisherman crept up 
with a club and was about to kill the mother- seal 
when to his astonishment she said to him in Irish, 
** Don't strike me." " No, nor never will," replied 
the man, and thereupon dropped his club, and the 
seal and her babies flopped into the sea. The 
would-be slayer moved from the place, and im- 
mediately a large boulder fell on the spot where the 
seals had been. Had the fisherman remained there 
he would have been killed. 

Strange legends hang around this wild and primi- 
tive coast connected with unknown monsters of the 
deep. " It's my belief," said a man one day, " and 
the belief of many, that there is no animal on land 
but what has its like in the sea " ; and then he 
proceeded to tell of a strange creature which goes 
around the coast-Hne from the Magharees to Brandon 
Head, and is called by the people the " Currane 
Duv," or "Black Sow." It has been seen in 
the memory of man — a large animal, 15 ft. long, 
" with mane like a horse," a foot in length, which 
waves in the water as it swims. Sometimes it goes 
up the river for a short distance, but its chief habitat 
is the sea, where it is a terror to the fisher folk ! 
Like the sea-serpent stories, these local traditions 
grow when recounted on v/inter nights round the 

227 



KERRY 

turf fires, till some folks begin to believe their 
truth ! 

Castle Gregory was in 1641 the property of 
Captain Walter Hussey. He defended the castle 
against the soldiers of Cromwell, but eventually 
forfeited his possessions, which were granted to one 
Thomas Welstead. 

Dingle to the Coumanare Lakes, The pros- 
pect of an adventure is always attractive and lends 
additional zest to a mountain climb ; and should 
the mists come down there is no more likely place 
to be lost for a time than the tract of mountains 
which lie between Dingle and the Coumanare Lakes. 
A walk to these lakes, however, is such a pleasant 
addition to a visit to Dingle that no apology need 
be made for recommending it. The old grassy 
road which starts near the grove in Dingle crosses 
the main Connor Hill Road i^ m. from the 
town, and thence going down to the Garfinny 
River straight from the Connor Hill Pass. A 
pile of stones near the head of the road marks 
the place where some hero of old was slain, and 
near this spot the Garfinny River is reduced to 
little more than a rivulet trickling down the moun- 
tain slope on the R. Turning to the R. along 
the bank (R.) of this stream a stiff pull up 
hill leads to a plateau of mossy peat " hags " and 
slushy valleys, with patches of stones where the 
rain of centuries has worn away the peat covering. 
All around is a wild stretch of this rough ground, 
extending to the top of the cHffs overlooking the 
<* Pedlar's Lake " and Lough Coumclahane on the 
N., and to the point of Listorgan Hill (2001 ft.) 
to the S.E. This plateau is some 2000 ft. over 
the sea, and here may be found embedded in the 

228 



DINGLE 

peat " hags " the curious " Coumanare arrows " 
which have puzzled many people. These arrows are 
sticks of I ft. or I J ft. in length, pointed at each 
end. One theory with regard to them is that they 
were used to lame deer which were driven across 
the ground. 

One m. due E. across this plateau brings the 
traveller to the head waters of a little rivulet which 
shortly gains strength and goes to form one of the 
many pretty waterfalls which enrich the scenery of 
this neighbourhood. A clear view of the Couma- 
nare Lakes, three in number, is obtained shortly 
after meeting this stream. A clear day is indis- 
pensable for the enjoyment of this view. Care 
should be taken in descending the precipitous side 
of the western lake. In many places treacherous 
green moss covers a slippery rock, and the loss of 
foothold may mean a bad fall. 

The return journey from the valley of Coumanare 
may be made by turning to the L. and descending 
to Lough Coumclahane, which lies in the shadow 
of Slieveanea (2026 ft.), or by following the shores 
of the lakes to the far end of the easternmost, and 
thence going along the stream which leads to the 
waterfall at the head of Lough Adoon, and so to 
the Connor Hill Road at Kilmore. In recom- 
mending this excursion the visitor should be 
warned that all his energies will be required to 
carry out the programme. The Kerry mountains 
are not to be trifled with when the mists come 
down, and a wrong turn under such circumstances 
may land the traveller in an awkward place, and 
render necessary a long and weary walk home. 
For the uninitiated it is well to give this warning. 
On the heights a mountaineer walks on an inner 

229 



KERRY 

circle of small dimensions ; a false move down hill 
may give a very wide outer segment for return. 
Also it is well to remember that though easy to 
get down a place, it is not always easy to return 
again if a false move has been made. 

Dingle to the Tearaght Rock, If the month 
of May or early June is chosen for the journey, the 
ornithologist will have a pleasure to remember. 
A " hooker " from Dingle is the best way to 
travel, and the length of the journey in point of time 
of course depends on the wind. The distance by 
sea is 20 m. The sail along parallel to the cliffs 
affords a totally fresh view of the coast-line of 
Kerry, and frequently a sunfish may be seen en 
route. 

The Tearaght Rock is an irregular cone-shaped 
island in the Blasket group, 602 ft. in height. 
On the N. end of this rock is the lighthouse, 275 
ft. over the sea, and having a very powerful light of 
45,000 candle-power. Large numbers of puffins 
(Fratercula Arcttca) come to this rock in the spring, 
and nest in the holes in the ground. The small storm 
petrel ( ProceIIariafelagica),ca\\ed by some "Mother 
Carey's chicken," also nests on this bare islet. 

Amongst the many legends of the W. of Ireland 
none is perhaps more pathetic than that which 
tells of an enchanted island far away in the 
W. " Y Breassail '' this island is called, and 
its glories are seen by eager watchers at sunset. 
Sometimes it has been seen so distinctly that 
sailors have gone forth to reach it, expecting to 
land in a few hours ; and two hundred years ago 
so sure was one Captain Rich of the existence of 
this wonderful island, that " he supposed " he dis- 
covered a harbour with two headlands, one on 

230 



DINGLE 

either side. But he could never get to the 
shore, and lost sight of the island in a mist. 
Those who know the W. of Ireland, with its 
gorgeous sunsets and its fairyland of islands lying 
violet over the sea, can understand how the legend 
kept its hold of an imaginative people. They can 
understand, too, the feelings which probably came 
to St Brandon, <' the Navigator," looking out over 
the Blasket Sound to the western isles, tempting 
him to explore the unknown region towards the 
setting sun. Denis Florence MacCarthy, in his 
^'St Brandon," has put in verse the spirit of the 
western legend of "Y Breassail": — 

'^ And, as beyond the outstretched wave of Time 
The eye of Faith a brighter land may meet, 
So did I dream of some more sunny clime 
Beyond the waste of waters at my feet." 

Dingle to Cloghane and Brandon. Brandon 
village, on the E. side of the mountain, must not be 
confounded with Brandon Creek, which is on the 
W. The latter has been mentioned in this chapter 
when dealing with the country about Kilmal- 
chedor, and it only remains to suggest a visit to 
the village of Brandon and the point of that name, 
which lies 2^ m. beyond the village of Cloghane. 
The journey can be made either from Tralee or 
Dingle. If from Dingle, the traveller will first 
surmount the Connor Hill Pass, and make his way 
direct to Cloghane village. From here a road 
runs N., crossing the river of Lisnacailwee, i m. 
from Cloghane, and thence to Brandon Quay, 
2 J miles, where a new pier has promoted the 
fishing industry to a very considerable extent. 
From Brandon Quay, a " bohereen," a bye-road, 
leads out to Brandon Point, and a rough footpath, 

231 



KERRY m 

very faintly indicated, leads along the sloping 
ground at the top of the cliffs to a wide glen, 
through which a stream flows and ends in a 
waterfall over the cliffs. This is an extremely 
wild and attractive bit of country. The distance 
to this stream is 2 m., and the return S.E. 
across the shoulder of the hill to Brandon village 
is about the same distance. Should there be time 
and inclination a farther extension of this tour 
might be made by walking along the N. slope of 
Mount Brandon by Beenaman (1238 ft.), the dis- 
tance from Brandon Point to Tiduff being about 
7 m. From Tiduff an old road runs down to 
Brandon Creek on the W. side of the mountain. 
The return to Dingle can then be made either 
on foot (10 m.) or by car. Arrangements, if the 
latter mode is followed, should be previously made 
to have a car sent from Dingle to Brandon Creek. 



CHAPTER X 

LISTOWEL 

The town of Listowel, standing on the N. shore 
of the river Feale, is the chief town in the 
barony of Irraghticonnor, which embraces all the 
country N. of the Feale to the Shannon. This 
barony was formerly " Iraght-y-Connor," and the 
greater part of it was held by the sept of the 
O'Connors, or, as they were sometimes termed, 
O'Connor Kerry. In the days of Queen Eliza- 
beth, one of these O'Connors was Constable of 
Carrickfoyle Castle, under the Earl of Desmond 

232 



LISTOWEL 

FitzMaurice, Lord of Lixnaw, was also a 
feudatory chief owing allegiance to the great 
palatine Earl, but when the Desmond was a 
prisoner in England in 1570, the Lord of Lixnaw 
took the opportunity of throwing off the over- 
lordship and declaring himself free of the palatine 
jurisdiction. It was unfortunate for him that he did 
so, for, in 1575, the Earl of Desmond escaped 
from captivity, and wreaked stern vengeance 
on the Lord of Lixnaw, as is shown from the 
following extract from a letter — a.d. 1576, 
August 28 th : — 

"The Baron of Lixnaw to the Lord Deputy, 
Sir Henry Sidney. — " My bounden duty to your 
good lordship. . . . The Earl of Desmond's men 
in several companys came to my poor country. One 
company to the S. side of the country, and one 
other to the N. side, and found one of my tenants 
(being my chaplain, about the age of fourscore 
years), took away his plough garrans, killed two 
young men, and left not so much as my poor 
greyhounds unkilled." 

After charging the Earl's Constable of Carrick- 
foyle with complicity, he adds a postscript as 
follows : — " My good Lord, after sending off this 
letter, the Earl of Desmond did send such force 
as he brought with him over the mountains this 
morning into my country, and invaded all the W. 
part of the same, and carried with him 600 kine, 
800 sheep and hogs, to the utter undoing of myself 
and all my poor tenants." 

This seems to have been a regular Border raid, 
differing but Httle from those which took place 
in Scotland and North England at the time. 
As a centre for touring, Listowel does not pre- 

233 



KERRY 

sent quite so many attractions as the other places 
mentioned in the pages of this " Little Guide to 
Kerry." But there are nevertheless some few 
expeditions to be made from this centre which will 
interest many people. 

Approaches, The town of Listowel may be 
approached by the Great Southern and Western 
Railway from Limerick or Tralee. 

( 1 ) By the first-named route the railway enters 
the county of Kerry at Abbeyfeale, a small market- 
town on the borders of Limerick and Kerry, which 
takes its name from the river Feale, which flows 
close at hand. From this point for 1 1 m. S., 
the railway runs through the valley of this beauti- 
ful river, past the pleasant woods of Kilmorna, 
to Listowel. 

(2) The line from Tralee passes the stations of 
Ardfert, Abbeydorney, and Lixnaw, and crossing 
the river Feale, about 3 m. from the latter place, 
enters Listowel from the S. 

The ^' Stacks" Mountains are seen on the R. of 
the train from the vicinity of Ardfert and Abbey- 
dorney, and the plain of bog and pasture-land 
then opens out in a wide sweep to the E., 
bounded by the distant, low, Glanaruddery Hills. 
On the L. hand side of the line beyond Ardfert 
can be seen the woods surrounding the house of 
Mr Talbot Crosbie ; and at Abbeydorney on the 
L. can be seen the ruins of the ancient abbey, 
formerly called *^ Kyrie Eleison," of which an 
account will be found in Chapter VIII. of this 
Guide. At Lixnaw, on a windy hilltop on the 
L. of the railway line, is seen the neglected tomb 
of the Earl of Kerry rising bare against the sky — 
a landmark for miles and miles over the flat land. 

234 



LISTOWEL 

(3 ) A third way of approach, to be recommended 
to cyclists on account of the comparative excellence 
of the road, is that by way of the old mail car 
route, which leaves Tralee by the railway station, 
and passing the gates of Oak Park (i m.) on the 
L. leads N.E, and upwards by the shoulder of the 
" Stacks " Mountains and Kilflyn, through a goodly 
cultivated district to the town of Listowel (18 m.)* 

(i) Listowel itself contains little to interest the 
traveller. The town, with a population of some 3 500 
people, consists of a square — a fine, wide-open 
space wherein is situated the Catholic church, the 
Protestant Episcopal church, and the banks, and 
residences of some of the leading inhabitants. 
Two long streets lead from this square to the 
court-house and railway station, with an ofFstreet 
leading to the poorhouse and the country beyond. 
Another road from the square at the N. end leads 
past the gates and pretty grounds of Gurtenard 
House (a lodge belonging to the Earl of Listowel), 
down to the bridge which spans the river Feale, 
1 m. from the town. The view from this bridge, 
looking either up or down the line, is extremely 
beautiful, and the bridge itself is a bit of workman- 
ship which reflects credit on its designer, being both 
useful and ornamental. 

(2) Ballinruddery, On crossing the bridge, a 
road to the R. leads to Tralee, and a road to the 
L., passing the gates of Ballinruddery [\ m.), leads 
on by Duagh to Abbeydorney. The woods of 
Ballinruddery afford a delightful walk for i m. or 
more along the banks of the river Feale, to which 
they slope. Ballinruddery belongs to the Knights 
of Kerry, and the ruins of an old tower and of a 
more modern house are met with about i m. from 



KERRY 

the entrance gate. The tower stands high over the 
wooded banks of the Feale, which here bends in a 
loop round the foot of the rock on which the ruin 
stands. The views of wood and river from this 
attractive point cannot fail to please. 

(3) Listowel Castle, Returning to Listowel 
from this walk to Ballinruddery, the ruins of the 
old castle may be inspected. Little now remains, 
however, to mark this once famous stronghold of 
the Earls of Kerry. It must have been an im- 
portant place in the days of long ago, and history 
says it was the last place which held out against 
the forces of Sir Charles Wilmot in the year 1600. 
Sir Charles Wilmot was preparing a mine to blow 
up this castle when a rush of water prevented further 
work in that direction. Eventually, however, he 
mined the works, and the garrison surrendered at 
discretion. There were only eighteen men in 
the fortress, and as nine of the English soldiers 
had been killed during the siege, Wilmot ordered 
nine of his captives to be hanged. The rest of 
the prisoners were sent to the Lord President of 
Munster, who, finding they had been under pro- 
tection before they rebelled, ordered their execution. 
A priest named Dermot M^Brodie was spared 
under the following circumstances. Lord Kerry's 
eldest son, a child of ^Ye years, had escaped with 
his nurse, and was hidden in a cave in a large 
wood in the neighbourhood — probably about 
Ballinruddery. Father Dermot M'Brodie offered 
to bring the child to Sir Charles Wilmot pro- 
vided his life was spared. This condition being 
granted, the priest went forth and found the child, 
and brought him to the general, who sent him with 
his guardian priest to the Lord President. This 

236 



LISTOWEL 

child, when he grew up, became a loyal subject of 
King James I. 

(4) Lisfowel to Bally bunion. Travellers should 
not be deterred from paying a visit to the village 
of Ballybunion by the Lartigue railway, a single 
elevated line, which runs for 10 m. direct from 
Listowel to the village. The name is the worst 
part of Ballybunion ; but when one considers that 
it merely means the " Town of Bunion," the sting 
is taken out of it. The glorious air and views of 
cliff and sea have long made this place celebrated 
(and justly so) as a health resort. Three m. to the 
N. of the village, on a promontory at the mouth 
of the Shannon, stands Lick Castle, or, as it is 
called, " The Devil's Castle." Three m. farther 
on the ruins of Beal Castle can be seen. The 
ancient fortress, formerly called Beaulieu, was held 
by the Earls of Kerry, and it was here that 
Maurice Stack was treacherously killed after a 
banquet in the year 1600. The road from Beal 
passes through Astee, and a cross is met 5 m. 
distant. The road to the L. leads to Ballylongford 
village ( I m.), and to the old castle of Carrickfoyle, 
a place which bore an important part in the stormy 
days of the i6th and 17th centuries. 

(5) Carrickfoyle (called in Celtic "Carraig au 
Phuill," or the " Rock of the Chasm," by the 
" Four Masters ") is situated on the shores of a 
small inlet on the Shannon, called Ballylongford 
Bay. It was a suitable base of operations in time 
of war, as supplies of men and arms could be 
obtained with ease from the opposite coast of 
Clare, or could be brought by boat down the 
river Shannon from Limerick. In 1579 it was 
held by nineteen Spaniards and fifty of the Irish 

237 



KERRY 

adherents of James FitzMaurice of Desmond, the 
whole force being commanded by one Count Julio. 
Sir William Pelham besieged it, and on Palm 
Sunday i 580 it was taken, and fifty of the garrison 
put to the sword by the English forces, under 
the immediate command of Captain Mackworth. 
Count Julio himself was hanged. The present 
building of Carrickfoyle stands 180 ft. from the - 
road, and a space of wet slob land caused by spring 
tides has to be crossed. The upper part of the 
S.W. face is gone, but the N.E. face of the 
building is in a fair state of preservation, and 
there are still the remains of a portion of the 
outer wall of a courtyard. The castle was built 
of coarse flagstone, with limestone at the corners. 
Almost opposite Carrickfoyle is the ruined abbey 
of Lislaughtin, founded in the year 1478 by John 
O'Connor for Franciscan monks. 

The return journey to Listowel can be made by 
passing through the village of Ballylongford and 
turning N. and then again E. to Tarbert (5 m.). 
Tarbert is a quiet little seaport town with nothing 
remarkable about it. Formerly a man-of-war was 
quartered in the Tarbert Roads for a portion of 
the year. From this place the road runs nearly 
straight to Listowel, and is without exception one 
of the dullest and most dreary journeys in the 
county. It is impossible to say anything in its 
favour. The expeditions from Listowel may 
include visits to Abbeydorney, Rattoo, Lixnaw, 
and Ballyheige. But as these have been given in 
Chapter VIII. when dealing with Tralee and its 
neighbourhood, they will not be further men- 
tioned. 

238 



LISTOWEL 

In dealing with such an extensive area as the 
county of Kerry in the small space available in a 
little guide-book, it is impossible to do more than 
indicate some few expeditions and suggest to 
visitors the extension of their journeys as they may 
see fit when in the county. Kerry is so full of 
historical interest, and is a field so little explored, 
that all who come may, by concentrating their atten- 
tion on one particular locality, add greatly to the 
general knowledge already possessed of the county. 
Old abbeys and castles in abundance stand almost 
forgotten, their history lost in the mists of time. 
Old customs still prevail, which would give a clue 
to many an interesting bit of history, and many a 
little incident and fact connected with this charming 
county would afford a theme for a romance equal to 
any woven from the history of any other county. 
Not alone in Killarney and its neighbourhood does 
the interest of Kerry begin and end. Almost 
every corner of the county possesses some attractive 
legendary lore. The very records of the com- 
missioners appointed to take over the forfeited lands 
after the Desmond wars present a mine of interest- 
ing information, and throw a light on many puzzling 
questions, and give glimpses at feudal customs 
which add considerably to the study of history. 
It is to be hoped that in the near future some 
writer may take the matter in hand, and work 
out from the facts obtainable a story of Kerry 
which will bring the romantic, chivalrous, history 
of the " Kingdom " vividly to the mind. 



239 



INDEX 



Abbey Island, 117, 125 
Abbey dorney, 182 
Abbeyfeale, 234 
Abbeys, 59 

Accumeen Lough, 193 
Acoose Lough, 10 
Aghadoe, Cathedral of, 83 
Aghadoe House, 94 
Aghadoe, Tower of, 83 
Aglish, 94 
Aicme (sept), 197 
Animals, 19 

Annals of Four Masters, 128 
Annals of Innisfallen, 62 
Antiquities, 57 
Approaches, 68 
Arbutus, 26 
Ardea Castle, no 
Ardfert, 173, 176 
Ardgroom, 6 
Ardnagreagh, 196 
Ascule, Prince of, 208 
Aughashla River, 193 
Augustine Mission, 139 
Auniscaul, 156 
Avoonane Lough, 15 



B 

Ballingarry, 180 
Ballinruddery, 235 
Ballinskelligs, 117, 137, 141 
Ballintaggart, 200, 221 
Balloughbeama Pass, 34, 66, 163 
Balloughisheen Pass, 34, t2i, 

142 
Ballyard, 190 
Ballybunion, 237 
Ballycarbery Castle, 134 



Ballyheige, 178 
Bally inch, 144 
Ballylongford, 237 
Ballymacelligott, 190 
Ballymalis Castle, 97-8 
Ballyseedy, 186 
Bally vourney, in 
Bannane Glen, 107 
Barfinnihy Lake, 113 
Barrerneen Mountain, 107 
Bautregaum Mountain, 2, 13 
Beale or Beaulieu, 48, 237 
Bealinnish, 144 
Beaufort, 94 
Bee Hive Huts, 3, 58, 151, 206, 

212 
Beechmount, 112 
Beenbawn Head, 221 
Beenkeragh, 7, 15 
Beenoskee, 13, 193 
Beginish Island, 150 
Bentee, 132 
Beoun, 113 

Birds, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 
Bishop, Well of the, 141 
Black Valley, 2, 10, 89, 163 
Black Water Bridge, 164 
Black Water River, 5, 

164 ^ 
Blanaid, 123, 198 
Blasket Islands, 3, 

209 
Blasket Sound, 209 
Blennerhassett, 60, 186 
Brandon, Mount, 2, 231 
Brandon, Saint, 39, 55, 

212 
Brickeen Bridge, 9, 87 
Brin, Lough, 11, 34 
Brosna, 196 

Browne, Sir Valentine, 46, 78 
Burnham, 205 



113. 



133. 207, 



168, 



240 



INDEX 



Caherbla, Pass of, 34, 192 

Cahirciveen, 117, 132 

Caherconree, g, 14, 133 

Caherdaniel, 126 

Cahergal, 127, 134 

'* Cahers," or forts, 58 

Callan, i6q 

Callee, Lough, 166 

Caragh Lake, 9, 121, 154, 158 

Caragh River, 11 

Carrantuohill, 2, 7, 15, 100, 

121 
Carrickfoyle, 48, 237 
Carrig a Cappeen, in 
Cascade, O'Sullivan's, 15, 100 
Castle Cove, 130 
Castle Island, 11, 186, 195 
Castlegregory, 53, 228 
Castlegregory Junction, 192, 

198 
Castlegregory Lake, 10 
Castlemaine, 11, 51, 154, 190 
Church Island, 118, 150 
Churches, 58 
Chute Hall, 189 
Clanmaurice, i, 6, 40 
Climate, 17 
Cloghane River, 11 
Cloghane Valley, 10, 202, 217 
Cloghvorragh, 112 
Cloon Lough, 10 
Cloonaghlin Lake, 120, 142 
Cloonee Lough, 10, 109 
Clough-na-Cuddy, 76 
Coad Chapel, 115 
Colley Mountain, 143 
Colman's Eye, 90 
Communications, 29 
Connor Hill, 34 
Coomakista Pass, 34, n6 
Cordal, 196 
Corkaguiny, 2, 7, 197 
Coumduv, 35, 163 
Coumclahane Lough, 10, 201 
Coumenare arrows, 229 
Coumenare Lakes, 228 
Crohane Lough, 98 
Crohane Mountain, 92 
Crohane Pass, 98 
Crom-a-boo, 169 
Cruttia Lough, 10, 202 
Curraghmore Lough, loi 
Currane Duv, 227 
Currane Lough, it8 



Cusack, Miss, 63 
Cycling, 32 



Daire, Curoi of, 39 
Darrynane, 115, 119, 123 
Deelis Mountain, 106 
Denny, Edward, 44, 171 
Dereen, 109, no 
Derryana, 120 
Derrycunihy, 19, 35, 112 
Desmond, 42 

Desmond, Earls of, 42, 43 
Desmond, Eleanor, Countess 

of, 43 
Devil's Punchbowl, 14, 100 
Dingle, 197, 211 
Dooks, 159 

Drury, Sir William, 42, 169 
Ducalla Head, 138 
Dunbeg Fort, 58, 207 
Dunkerron, 2 
Dunkerron Castle, 104 
Dunloe Castle, 96 
Dunloe, Gap of, 34, 88, 94 
Dunmore, 2 
Dunmore Fort, 58 
Dursey, 14, 117 



E 

Eagle's Nest, go 
Earls of Kerry, 40 
Eragh Lough, 100 
Eskine, 116 
Ethnology, 54 
Eyres, 128 



Feale River, 5, 10, 189 
Feaughna Graveyard, 107, io3 
Fenit, 175 
Feoghana River, n 
Ferns, 27 
Ferta River, n 
Fin MacCoul, 39 
Finan, Saint, 62, 82 
Finglass River, 123, 192, 198 
Fish, 25 
Fishing, 36 
FitzGeralds, 41 
FitzMaurice, 41 



241 



KERRY 



Flesk River, 5, 10 
Flora and Fauna, 19 
Flowers, 26 
Fogher Cliffs, 146 
Foley's Glen, igo 
Forests, 19 
Fort del Ore, 45, 210 
Fort Staigue, 58 
Forts, 58 
Franciscans, 61 
Froude, J. A., 63 



Gaddagh River, loi 
Gal, Lough, 217 
Gallerus, 2n 
Gallerus Castle, 216 
Garagarry Lake, 100 
Garrig Islands, 224 
Geerameen River, 11, 88, 163 
Geology, 7, 8, 9 
Glanaruddery Mountains, 6 
Glanleam, 148, 205 
Glanmore Lake, 10 
Glencar, 37, 123, 154, 163 
Glencar, Earl of, 42 
Glengariffe, 31, 71 
Glenmore, 130 
Glen of Keppoch, 91 
Glin, Knight of, 49 
Gloun na Coppal, 14, 71, 100 
Gloun na Gait, 200 
Glounaneenty, 45, 186 
Glountinassig, 192 
Gouragh Lough, iot 
Grey de Wilton, Lord, 44 
Gros, Raymond, 40 
Guitane Lough, 91, 150 
Gulf Stream, 18, 145 



H 

Hag's Glen, 100 

Harris, Sir Thomas, 172 

Headford, 70 

Hickson, Miss M. A. (history), 

Hilary, Saint, 140, 153 
History, 38 
Honorius, Pope, 140 
Horses, Glen of, 14, 100 
Hospitallers, Knights, 183 



I 

Illaunammil, 224 
Illauntannig, 224 
Inch, 2, T56, 202 
Inchiquin, Lord, 174 
Inchiquin, Lough, 10 
Industries, 36, 37 
Industry, School of, 74 
Innisfallen, Annals of, 62 
Innisfallen Island, 80, 81 
Innishnabro, 147, 207 
Innishtooskert Island, 224 
Innishvickillane, 147, 207, 220 
Inny Valley, 117 
Insects, 28 

Irraghticonnor, i, 232 
Iveragh, 6 



James, King, 53, 104 
John of Callan, 41 
Julio, Count, 238 



K 

Kells, 133 

Kenmare, 102, 113 

Kenmare River, 70 

Keppoch, Glen of, 35, 74, 91, 92 

Kerry, 54 ^ 

Kerry, Knight of, 49, 50, 149 

Kerry, Lord, 47, 48 

Kilcolman, 157 

Kildrellig, 141 

Kilgarvan, 35 

Killaha, 71 

Killarney, 68, 72 

Killarney Cathedral, 73 

Killarney Church, 74 

Killarney House, 75 

Killeentierna, 56 

Killorglin, 122, 157 

Kilmacilloge, no, 115 

Kilmalchedor, 211 

Kilonanaim, 46, 189 

Kilshannig, 224 

Kinkeen Mountain, 107 

Knight's Town, 146 

Knockanore, 6 

Knockboy, 6 

Knockowen, 6 



242 



tf i 



THE 

LITTLE 
GUIDES 

"Where'er we tread, 'tis haunted, 
holy ground." 



LONDON 
METHUEN & CO 



THE LITTLE GUIDES 

Pott %V0j cloth ^ 2s. 6d. net ; leather ^ 3^. 6d. net, 

"Delightfully handy and pleasant in appearance." — 

Athenaum, 
"Conspicuous for their neatness, their readableness, and their 
practical wiWxiy. ''—Giobe, 

** The best mementoes of visits." — World, 

V4ESSRS METHUEN are publishing a 
small series of books under the general 
title of The Little Guides. The main 
features of these books are ( i ) a handy and 
charming form, (2) artistic illustrations by 
E. H, New and others, (3) good plans and 
maps, (4) an adequate but compact presentation 
of everything that is interesting in the natural 
features, history, archaeology, and architecture 
of the town or district treated. 

In those volumes which treat of counties, 
there is first a general description of the 
country — its situation, physical features, flora 
and fauna, climate, inhabitants, industries, 
history and archaeology. Then follows an 
account of the chief towns and places of 
interest in alphabetical order. 

The books are not guides in the ordinary 
sense of the word. They do not give the 
usual routes for expeditions, information about 
hotels, etc., but they contain information which 
may be sufficient for the ordinary tourist of 
literary tastes, and they form not only practical 
handbooks, but delightful gift books. 

Oxford and its Colleges. By J. Wells, M.A. 

Illustrated by E. H. New. Sixth Edition, 

Cambridge and its Colleges. By A. Hamilton 

Thompson. Illustrated by E. H. New. Second Edition. 

Westminster Abbey. By G. E. Troutbeck. 

Illustrated by F. D. Bedford. 

St Paul's Cathedral. By George Clinch. Illus- 
trated by Beatrice Alcock. 



The English Lakes. By F. G. Brabant. 

Illustrated by E. H. New. Cloth, 4s. ; leather, 4s. 6d. net. 

The Malvern Country. By B. C. A. Windle, 

D.Sc, F.R.S. Illustrated by E. H. New. 

Shakespeare's Country. By B. C. A. Windle, 

F.R.S , M.A. Illustrated by E. H. New. Second Edition. 

Buckinghamshire. By E. S. Roscoe. Illustrated 

by F. D. Bedford. 

Cheshire. By W. M. Gallichan. Illustrated 

by E. Hartley. 

Cornwall. By A. L. Salmon. Illustrated by 

B. C. Boulter. 

Derbyshire. By J. Charles Cox, LL.D. Illus- 
trated by J. C. Wall. 

Dorset. By F. R. Heath. Illustrated. 

Hampshire. By J. Charles Cox, LL.D. Illus- 
trated by M. E. Purser. 

Hertfordshire. By H. W. Tompkins. Illustrated 

by £. H. New. 

The Isle of Wight By G. Clinch. Illustrated 

by F. D. Bedford. 

Kent. By G. Clinch. Illus. by F. D. Bedford. 
Middlesex. By J. B. Firth. 
Northamptonshire. By Wakeling Dry. 
Norfolk. By W. A. Dutt. Illus. by B. C. Boulter. 
Oxfordshire. By F. G. Brabant. Illustrated by 

E. H. New. 
Suffolk. By W. A. Dutt. Illus. by J. Wylie. 
Surrey. By F. A. H. Lambert. Illus. by E. H. New. 
Sussex. By F. G. Brabant, M.A. Illustrated by 

E. H. New. Second Edition. 

The East Riding of Yorkshire. By J. E. Morris. 

Illustrated by R. J. S. Bertram. 

The North Ridmg of Yorkshire. By J. E. 

Morris. Illustrated by R. J. S. Bertram. 

Brittany. By S. Baring-Gould. Illus. by J. Wylie. 

Normandy. By C. Scudamore. 

Rome. By C. G. Ellaby. Illustrated by B. C. 

Boulter. 

Sicily. By F. Hamilton Jackson. Illustrated 

by the Author. 

The following are in preparation : — 

Berkshire. By F. G. Brabant. 

Gloucestershire. By C. G. Ellaby. 

Kerry. By C. P. Crane. 

London. By George Clinch. 

Shropshire. By J. A. Nicklin. 

Somerset. B>; G. W. and J. H. Wade. 

The West Riding of Yorkshire. By J. E. Morris. 



NOV 15 m''